February 20, 2012

ODIs: a blue-print for the future

A list of ideas and suggestions to improve ODIs and their structure
102

Top bowlers like Dale Steyn should be allowed to bowl 12 overs each © AFP

In response to one of my recent articles there were quite a few comments on the ODI game and steps to be taken to improve and strengthen the same. This article is a summary encompassing the readers' suggestions and adding my own.

The article is in two parts. The first one deals with ways of strengthening the ODI matches through match-level changes. The second part concentrates on strengthening the game format.

Suggestions on ODI match-level changes


1. Two bowlers being allowed to bowl 12 overs each. This will tilt the scales a little bit in favour of the bowlers. Teams will be tempted to play four top bowlers since only six overs need to be bowled by the fifth bowler. It should be remembered that the 20% is not sacrosanct. Even now the bowlers might bowl above 20% in a few situations: rain affected matches and innings which do not go the full extent of 50 overs. It would be great to see Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander get the four extra overs since the batsmen have to plan for this eventuality.

This is needed because of recent rule changes like free-hits, marginal wides, one bouncer per over, Power Plays etc which are all in favour of the batsmen. There is a need to level the playing field a bit. Let me add that this suggestion has not been caused by the fact that batsmen can play a higher share of team balls. It is true only in single innings. However, over the entire career, there is no great difference in the % of balls bowed/faced by batsmen/bowlers. The following tables are interesting.

Batsman        TeamBalls BatBalls % faced

Marsh G.R 32370 7721 23.85 Greenidge C.G 34875 7908 22.68 Haynes 63324 13707 21.65 ... Tendulkar 120096 21073 17.55 Ponting 98998 17010 17.18

Bowler         TeamBalls BowBalls % bowled

Chatfield 30221 6065 20.07 Md. Rafique 32056 6414 20.01 Muralitharan 94327 18811 19.94 Abdur Razzak(Bng) 33379 67237 19.90 Wasim Akram 93398 18186 19.47

Thus it can be seen that while theoretically a batsman can face 50% of the team balls, in practice, this works to a much lower number. It is obvious but the main reason is that the batsman have but a single life. The bowler could go for 30 in 2 overs but could go on to complete his spell. Hence the two % share values are closer. If the 12-over change is implemented we will have top bowlers at near 24%, wonderfully at par with the batsmen.

2. Re-define leg side wide. Today a lovely off-break from Graeme Swann pitched on the middle stump has every chance of being called a wide. Similarly a beautiful off-cutter bowled on the leg stump would very be called a wide. The leg side wide definition should be changed. The law could be changed to, say, "if a ball is pitched outside leg stump and is not likely to hit the stumps should be called a wide". This would allow a leg-spinner to pitch on the roughs outside the leg stump and not be called a wide. The current definition seems to take into account where the ball ends after going past the bat and not where the ball pitches.

3. Remove No ball-free hit anomaly. The free hit itself is not liked by many. However it has been proved in these columns that this has resulted in a decrease in the number of no balls. Hence it has come here to stay. In that case why should a no ball called because the ball was bowled above waist-high or it was a beamer be not called a free hit. In real cricketing sense these deliveries are far more dangerous and likely to cause bodily harm than a no ball which was delivered with the boot couple of inches beyond the crease.

4. Allow two bouncers per over. This will make all the overs more challenging and give the fielding team a few more options. The batsmen have to improvise to handle the two short deliveries. Since there going to be 20 Power Play overs per innings and there is a limit of 2/3 fielders outside the ring, the batsmen should find methods to convert short-pitches balls into scoring opportunities. There is an alternate suggestion to limit this change to only the PP overs. It is suggested that this whole question should be examined.

5. Give higher weight for away results. The need to resolve the groups in a better manner than net run rate has opened up this option. Surely India's win over South Africa away should count more than their win in India. And vice versa. The additional weight could be as low as 10% or as high as 25.0%/33.3% (4/3 points for a win and 1 bonus point for an away win. This will become very relevant in the WCL, described later. The precedent is the rule in many Football leagues where away goals count double.

6. Split of innings into 2 parts: There is a lot of support for the ODI format with innings split into 2 parts. Whether the split is 25+25 or 30+20, whether we could use two new balls from either end as is currently being done or a new ball for each of the innings, how to split the Power Plays etc., we will leave to the organizers. The biggest benefit will be the reduced impact of Toss and possibly improved handling of rain-affected matches.

7. Tie resolution in leagues: The current method of tie-resolution using NRRs has a number of shortcomings, especially in D/L matches. Also the emphasis is on quicker scoring which is not necessarily the correct method for resolving ties. A better method would be to incorporate into the calculations an element of the win quantum. How comfortable or difficult were the wins. Milind Pandit has suggested a simple, but excellent, "Ball Difference" method which can be used for this purpose. The link for the suggested calculations is given below.

click here

8. D/L method: It is recommended that the target scores in both D/L and VJD method be publicised in each Rain situation. The D/L target can be continued to be used. However this will enable cricket followers to get an idea of the target scores by an alternate method. If we take the MCG and SCG matches there were some feelings of discomfort on the target scores. It would have been nice to have a VJD target for both.

Given below are some minor suggestions which are of the nice-to-have variety. These are all not major changes but are, one could call, the readers' wish-list and could be treated as such.

- Allow the captains to decide on their team composition after the toss. This could be as easy as allowing them to carry two separate team sheets to the toss.
- Make Batting Power play optional. If a batting team does not want it, why insist on that.
- Make the overs 15-34 Power Play overs and let the captains decide how they would like to optimise the 1-15 and 35-50 overs.
- Allow an additional fielder in the Power Play overs, but could be in the third close catching position.
- Strengthen and implement the Super-Sub option again.
- What is the significance of the back-foot no balls. What does it matter if a bowler delivers from wide of the crease. He may get an angle but is much more likely to be penalized for wides, if he misses even slightly.
- Have no bowler limit at all. While there may be a temptation to play more batsmen, it is very difficult to see more than 15 overs being delivered by one bowler within 200 minutes. He would become very ineffective later on.
- Resort to tie-resolving like olden days, based on wickets lost, to produce more results, especially in WCL.

Given below are three suggestions which have validity across all formats of Cricket, especially Tests.

1. Make DRS compulsory. Too much has been written on DRS, to no avail. I concede all points on the drawbacks of DRS. I accept the validity of some of BCCI objections. I appreciate Simon Taufel's sensible observations against DRS. However, I am with Michael Clarke whole-heartedly. Either all should play with DRS or no one should. And it is the Indian team which is sitting pretty. They play ALL matches without DRS. Australia play with DRS in one series and then have to do without DRS in the next one and then go back to DRS. Same with other countries. Absolutely ridiculous. ICC should say "DRS is mandatory w.e.f 1 April 2012.". DRS would evolve, get fine-tuned and in two years' time we may have a 99% effective system.

2. Switch Hit conundrum. Allow the Switch Hit since it is a high risk shot and not all can play the same effectively. In that case, however, remove all protection for the batsman. In other words, no leg side wides, wides only past the marker on either side and no lbw protection for pitching outside leg stump. Allow different types of no balls though.

3. Fielder hitting stumps. If a fielder's throw hits the stumps, declare a dead ball. Let the fielding side not get penalized for a great fielding effort.

The problems with the ODI structure is multi-fold, as outlined below.

1. Too many matches. During the past three years, 144, 142 and 149 matches have been played.
2. Too many inconsequential matches. Especially in the bi-lateral series.
3. Very unwieldy bi-lateral series. 5 itself is too many and 7 is totally way-out. 4. There is wide disparity in the number of matches played even between top teams.
5. The so called cash-cow series keep getting repeated.
6. In the non-World Cup years, there is no great interest. Champions' Trophy is a poor cousin to World Cup and there are very few Triangular/Quadrangular tournaments.

Hence the following schedule is suggested. This is a major re-vamp because of the creation of a completely new and exciting concept called World Cricket league, explained in great detail later. But this will revolutionize the game completely.

First, it is recommended that all bi-lateral series be standardized to 3 ODIs and 3 T20s. This would mean a lapsed time of only 2 weeks (1/4/7/10/12/14) and the tour itself will take no more than 3 weeks. Each of these series is almost certain to have a result.

There are no major suggestions on the World Cup. The last World Cup was very well structured and conducted. That could be the blue-print. Alternately, 10 teams and all-play-all format (1992 format) can be used. Even in this case, all efforts should be made to fill, say, the last 3 places through selection tournaments so that the associate teams have a good chance.

It should be seen that the bi-lateral series cannot be used for WCL because of the very strong home/away advantage which teams have. Also we will continue to be plagued by the meaningless matches syndrome.

It should be seen that in the non-WCL years, the bi-lateral series, in the suggested leaner and better format, will continue to be played. Even in the WCL years, the eliminated teams and associate nations can stage their own bi-lateral series.

Given below is a suggested schedule for the next 10 years and fits the existing commitments.

2012: T20 World Cup.               Bi-lateral ODI series. Test series.
2013: Champions' Trophy.           Bi-lateral ODI series. Test series.
2014: World Cricket League.                               Test series.
2015: ODI World Cup.               Bi-lateral ODI series. Test series.
2016: World Cricket League.                               Test series.
2017: Test Championship.           Bi-lateral ODI series.
2018: World Cricket League.                               Test series.
2019: ODI World Cup.               Bi-lateral ODI series. Test series.
2020: World Cricket League.                               Test series.
2021: Test Championship.           Bi-lateral ODI series.

The inaugural WCL has been suggested for 2014 so that there is enough time to plan everything. The next T20 WC could be fitted in suitably, probably during 2014, 2017 and 2020. It is our belief that the Champions' Trophy will die a natural death once the WCL gets going.

Now for complete details on the WCL.

WORLD CRICKET LEAGUE (WCL)


The WCL is a biennial year-long league-cum-knockout ODI tournament. This has been based on the most successful league-cum-knockout tournament in the world, the European Champions' League and NBA. The basic idea was provided by a regular reader, Raghav Behani and Vikram and Vishal added useful inputs. I have fine-tuned the ideas and structured the whole thing into a 10-year frame.

WCL is conducted in four stages. Scheduling and logistics would be a major problem to be solved but I am confident that ICC can do it, with cooperation from the constituent Boards can do it successfully.

1. WCL Preliminary League


This is a geographical league, to the extent possible. 12 teams participate in the WCL-PL. In the first year let us say there are the 10 Test-playing nations and two other Associate countries, say Ireland and Afghanistan. These 12 teams are split into four groups of three teams each. Two teams from each group will qualify for the next round. The four third placed teams will join other teams in a Qualifying league for the next competition. The suggested group configurations are given below. This will vary year on year and some juggling would have to be done.

Group 1: India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh.
Group 2: South Africa, West Indies, Zimbabwe.
Group 3: Pakistan, England, Afghanistan.
Group 4: Australia, New Zealand, Ireland.

Each team will play the other teams three times, once at home, once away and once in the third country (neutral). So each team plays 6 matches, each country conducts 6 matches and there would be 9 matches in each group, making 36 matches in all.

This are no problems in groups 1 and 2, the teams are in close proximity to each other. Group 3 has some potential problems. Pakistan and Afghanistan might not be ready to host matches. England cannot hold matches because of winter. The best solution is to hold these matches in UAE. There are three centres and each can hold 3 matches. In group 4, Ireland can travel down under and play all their matches in the two countries.

An overall target can be set that these group matches should finish by April.

2. WCL Qualification League


This is a secondary league. The teams comprise of the 4 eliminated teams from the WCL-PL and four other Associate teams, selected through earlier events. This will be similar to the WCL-ML in that there will be two groups and the top two in each group will qualify for the following years' main competition. The format will be similar to WCL-ML and there would be a total of 24 matches played. There will be a lot of interest in this league since the rewards are great.

3. WCL Main League


This is the main league and non-geographical. There are two groups with 4 teams each. The method of allocation would be two first-placed and two second-placed teams in each group and the teams would be separated from their WCL-PL groupings.

Each team will play the other three teams, home and away. So each team plays 6 matches and there would be 12 matches in each group, making 24 matches in all. An alternative would be to locate the groups in one location, making travel easier.

Two teams from each group will qualify for the next round.

An overall target can be set that these Main league matches should finish by July.

4. WCL Semi-Final League/Play-off


This can be either a play-off format or league format. The advantage with a league format is that each team plays all the other teams and there would be clearly identified first, second, third and fourth places.

Each team will play the other three teams, once, possibly in a neutral location. So each team plays 3 matches and there would be 6 matches in all. All the matches could be played in one or two locations.

Alternately the two semi-finals could be played as best-of-three knock-out matches with the two losing teams playing a 3-team knock-out to determine third and fourth places.

An overall target can be set that these semi final matches should finish by September.

5. WCL Final


The two teams that qualify are placed based on their semi-final league/playoff performances.

These two teams play a 5-match play-off series to determine the WCL winner. There are two options. In either case. the higher placed team will host three matches and the lower placed team will host two matches.

The teams play 2 matches in the lower placed team's country and then move on to the higher placed team's country, to play 3 more matches.

Alternately, the teams play 2 matches in the higher placed team's country and then move on to the lower placed team's country, to play 2 more matches. If the tie is still unresolved, the teams play the the decider in the higher-placed team location. This will depend on the proximity of the teams also.

An overall target can be set that these Final matches should take place during November.

This means there will be a total of 95 matches including the 24 in the Elimination league. This will be perfectly manageable. There will almost be no dead matches. Every match will have relevance. The two teams in the Final would have played 20 matches each, every one of these 20 meaningful ones. Other teams lesser, but no less relevant. Again the load can be managed very well.

A summary of the WCL scheduling


I have worked out that the WCL-PL will take between 45-50 days, the WCL-ML will take between 45-50 days, the WCL-SFL will take between 15-20 days and the WCL-Finals will take between 15-20 days. This and some slack for travel etc, will mean a total lapsed time of 6 months for the WCL. This leaves us 6 months to concentrate on Test cricket. There would be enough time for teams to play 4 or 5 standardized 3-Test series. This can be managed quite comfortably since there would be no ODI series to follow or precede.

Prize Money: A suggested distribution. I know the public have no say in this. However this should just round off the blue-print document.

Winner:          30%.
Runner-up:       15%.
3rd placed team: 10%.
4th placed team: 7.5%.
4 Main league qualifiers: 5% each (20%).
4 eliminated teams from preliminary leagues: 2.5% each (10%).

This will still leave enough money, 7.5%, to be allotted for associate teams.

Anantha Narayanan has written for ESPNcricinfo and CastrolCricket and worked with a number of companies on their cricket performance ratings-related systems

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jonathon Josephs on April 1, 2012, 7:00 GMT

    Must admit some good points for the ODI game except for split innings. The last thing cricket needs is another step towards T20 cricket. The World Cup league looks promising, but is not practical in the sense of playing one game away, home, and neutral. No team in the world will fly all the way to one country for one game, then come all the way back to another country for another game, and etc. The money involved in airflight and adjusting to jetlag is just way too much and makes the situation impractical. Do agree though about the Final being a 5 match series in itself.

  • Karn Mamgain on March 30, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    This is my concluding comment, Ananth. Sorry for the extremely long post. I would have rather written an article and inboxed it on cricinfo as a response to your wonderful work, but I figured that would not be very practical, hence the multi-part comment.

    Thank you very much for the time and effort you put in to writing this article. I am sure, many appreciate and eagerly wait for posts.

    I would like to clarify that by no means I'm trying to imply that my knowledge of cricket and its workings are greater than yours or anyone else's. Your well-articulated points that reflect years of education and experience, obviously carry more worth than mine, which come from a seventeen year-old high school student's mind.

    I do hope, the ICC looks into some of your suggestions. If it's not trivial to ask, could you also comment on how IPL should to be structured to maximize the benefits, and minimize the problems (such as length, etc). [[ Karn, many thanks for a very informed set of comments. I will look at these in detail later. I am extremely tied up with other articles and deliverables. Ananth: ]]

  • Karn Mamgain on March 30, 2012, 15:01 GMT

    Picking up from where I left ...

    4. All of the top eight teams should end up with the same number of home and away Tests, ODIs, and T20s, to ensure the fairness (obviously, to an extent) of the ranking system.

    5. Bowlers should be allowed to bowl consecutive overs. Okay, I admit, it may sound crazy at first, but I feel, with the rules taking so much away from the bowlers, there much be some reward for those with best skill and fitness. Of course, it's very tough to bowl consecutive overs, but given it's tough and someone can do, I say, they must allow it. Ponder this scenario: Sri Lanka have to defend 17 off last two overs, and Malinga still has two overs. The opposition would try to see off one of the Malinga overs, so they can cash in on the other one. But if Malinga has the ability to bowl two consecutive overs under so much pressure, then he should be allowed to; why not? Aren't batsmen allowed to play consecutive overs, while shielding the non-striker? It's only fair.

  • Karn Mamgain on March 30, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    Continuing from my previous post ...

    I'd like to add to my second point about the split-innings. Although I oppose the format, I wouldn't mind to the slightest degree if there can be one-off split-innings ODIs at the end of a tour. Again, this would be purely experimental, with almost nothing at stake, but worthwhile just to determine how well the format would be received by the public.

    3. Your idea about the WCL is particularly likable; however, I can foresee how people will criticize the choice of the neutral venue. I would have the top eight teams qualify automatically, while the remaining four play qualifiers. This will surely create more competition between Bangladesh, West Indies, and New Zealand. It will look like this. Group 1: #1, #8, Qualifier (Q) Winner; Group 2: #2, #7, Q2; Group 3: #3, #6, Q3; and group 4: #4, #5, Q4. Neutral venues should be chosen by drawing lots to minimize administrative biases.

    To be continued ...

  • Karn Mamgain on March 30, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    Most of these suggestions are quite practical and can be incorporated without major structural changes; so, do accept my "good job", Ananth. My $0.02:

    1. Two new balls should be given to the captain at the start of the innings. Thereafter, it should be his responsibility to use them the way he wants to. Simply put: He shouldn't be forced to change the ball at a certain time of the innings, or use both at the same time—as the current rule dictates. The current rule will affect, as it has been the case with Malinga, the bowlers who rely on reverse swing for their death bowling. In a morning start in overcast conditions in Durban, of course, AbD will choose to use new balls from both ends, with the likes of Philander and Steyn in his ranks. However, while playing a D/N game in the subcontinent, the new balls from both ends will only help the batsmen.

    All that said, the umpires should constantly monitor the condition of the ball being used.

    To be continued, in the next comment ...

  • vhua on February 29, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    While India's domestic tournament IPL gets front page coverage (like world cup) in cricinfo site I wonder while Bangladesh's BPL got very little coverage with very small section at the bottom of the page. [[ I think you should worry if BPL does not get good coverage in the Dhaka papers. As far as I am concerned both IPL and BPL should get the same bottom-of-eighth-page 2 colum coverage. Ananth: ]]

  • Gerry_the_Merry on February 29, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    you guys are unduly worried. Srikkanth is taking care if it. http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/current/story/555746.html [[ I am going to do the simulation of Asia Cup for CastrolCricket.com. Given below is an extract from my proposal to them, sent a month back. "" I need to know the players selected for Asia Cup. It would not be a bad idea for me to do the Recent Form and Tournament simulation work on the later date since a few players might be “rested” for the Asia Cup, especially from India. Although, if Tendulkar fails to score his 100th-100 in the CB series he might make himself available and be included in the team. "" The guy who once called the selectors "a bunch of clowns" now finds himself across the table and may suddenly see that the description is apt. Ananth: ]]

  • Ananth on February 29, 2012, 3:56 GMT

    The document is taking final shape. I have updated the article with the following changes. This article has another 2/3 days currency and I will then forward it to Sambit Bal. 1. Changed the D/L comment to "show the alternate VJD target score in each situation". 2. Asked for Milind's "Ball difference" methodology to be considered to resolve league postions and have provided the required link. 3. Asked for a serious consideration of the split innings ODI possibility.

  • milpand on February 28, 2012, 22:55 GMT

    Ananth, Thanks for including BD in the blueprint. I did not consider the wickets because it is a post match measure. Teams sacrifice wickets in a limited overs game in order to score quickly. At the end of scheduled overs it does not matter how many wickets were kept in hand, just the final score. [[ I agree that only BD is sufficient for tie-resolving. However with Castrol, I was looking at performance. As such it was necessary for me to include the wicket resource. Incidentally, until last year, the Sri Lanka: 299, India: 54 was the most devastating performance by any team. Let me add: the relative Team strengths come into the picture. One reason why the huge wins the big teams achieved against the weaker teams do not come up. Also 434/438 or 320/321 will never come on top since the bowling, all round, has failed. Similarly 100/95 or 150/120. Ananth: ]]

  • milpand on February 28, 2012, 22:02 GMT

    I agree with Pelham who has described the problem properly. I was trying to point out that we remember the methodology of standard D/L while not paying enough attention to the fact that the model had to be upgraded to keep up with the changes in scoring pattern. Power plays, T20, smaller grounds etc have influenced Intl matches which will continue to change in future. Professional edition of D/L has also changed since 2004 and will need changes. This means the framework built around the famous equation is tinkered which obviously has limitations. VJD is a known alternative which does not have the constraints of a fundamental equation. I think it is better suited to track the changes in the game. It is my view without sufficient match data. By running a parallel system of publishing Par scores for both systems while maintaining D/L as the primary system, people will discover the limitations and advantages of both models in tricky situations. Perhaps a third solution might emerge. [[ Yes, I think Pelham's comment is a very precise and clear one: possibly requiring two readings, but expresses the problem correctly. I think I will introduce your comment on publicising both scores. I will update the article just now since it still has couple of days' life. Ananth: ]]

  • Jonathon Josephs on April 1, 2012, 7:00 GMT

    Must admit some good points for the ODI game except for split innings. The last thing cricket needs is another step towards T20 cricket. The World Cup league looks promising, but is not practical in the sense of playing one game away, home, and neutral. No team in the world will fly all the way to one country for one game, then come all the way back to another country for another game, and etc. The money involved in airflight and adjusting to jetlag is just way too much and makes the situation impractical. Do agree though about the Final being a 5 match series in itself.

  • Karn Mamgain on March 30, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    This is my concluding comment, Ananth. Sorry for the extremely long post. I would have rather written an article and inboxed it on cricinfo as a response to your wonderful work, but I figured that would not be very practical, hence the multi-part comment.

    Thank you very much for the time and effort you put in to writing this article. I am sure, many appreciate and eagerly wait for posts.

    I would like to clarify that by no means I'm trying to imply that my knowledge of cricket and its workings are greater than yours or anyone else's. Your well-articulated points that reflect years of education and experience, obviously carry more worth than mine, which come from a seventeen year-old high school student's mind.

    I do hope, the ICC looks into some of your suggestions. If it's not trivial to ask, could you also comment on how IPL should to be structured to maximize the benefits, and minimize the problems (such as length, etc). [[ Karn, many thanks for a very informed set of comments. I will look at these in detail later. I am extremely tied up with other articles and deliverables. Ananth: ]]

  • Karn Mamgain on March 30, 2012, 15:01 GMT

    Picking up from where I left ...

    4. All of the top eight teams should end up with the same number of home and away Tests, ODIs, and T20s, to ensure the fairness (obviously, to an extent) of the ranking system.

    5. Bowlers should be allowed to bowl consecutive overs. Okay, I admit, it may sound crazy at first, but I feel, with the rules taking so much away from the bowlers, there much be some reward for those with best skill and fitness. Of course, it's very tough to bowl consecutive overs, but given it's tough and someone can do, I say, they must allow it. Ponder this scenario: Sri Lanka have to defend 17 off last two overs, and Malinga still has two overs. The opposition would try to see off one of the Malinga overs, so they can cash in on the other one. But if Malinga has the ability to bowl two consecutive overs under so much pressure, then he should be allowed to; why not? Aren't batsmen allowed to play consecutive overs, while shielding the non-striker? It's only fair.

  • Karn Mamgain on March 30, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    Continuing from my previous post ...

    I'd like to add to my second point about the split-innings. Although I oppose the format, I wouldn't mind to the slightest degree if there can be one-off split-innings ODIs at the end of a tour. Again, this would be purely experimental, with almost nothing at stake, but worthwhile just to determine how well the format would be received by the public.

    3. Your idea about the WCL is particularly likable; however, I can foresee how people will criticize the choice of the neutral venue. I would have the top eight teams qualify automatically, while the remaining four play qualifiers. This will surely create more competition between Bangladesh, West Indies, and New Zealand. It will look like this. Group 1: #1, #8, Qualifier (Q) Winner; Group 2: #2, #7, Q2; Group 3: #3, #6, Q3; and group 4: #4, #5, Q4. Neutral venues should be chosen by drawing lots to minimize administrative biases.

    To be continued ...

  • Karn Mamgain on March 30, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    Most of these suggestions are quite practical and can be incorporated without major structural changes; so, do accept my "good job", Ananth. My $0.02:

    1. Two new balls should be given to the captain at the start of the innings. Thereafter, it should be his responsibility to use them the way he wants to. Simply put: He shouldn't be forced to change the ball at a certain time of the innings, or use both at the same time—as the current rule dictates. The current rule will affect, as it has been the case with Malinga, the bowlers who rely on reverse swing for their death bowling. In a morning start in overcast conditions in Durban, of course, AbD will choose to use new balls from both ends, with the likes of Philander and Steyn in his ranks. However, while playing a D/N game in the subcontinent, the new balls from both ends will only help the batsmen.

    All that said, the umpires should constantly monitor the condition of the ball being used.

    To be continued, in the next comment ...

  • vhua on February 29, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    While India's domestic tournament IPL gets front page coverage (like world cup) in cricinfo site I wonder while Bangladesh's BPL got very little coverage with very small section at the bottom of the page. [[ I think you should worry if BPL does not get good coverage in the Dhaka papers. As far as I am concerned both IPL and BPL should get the same bottom-of-eighth-page 2 colum coverage. Ananth: ]]

  • Gerry_the_Merry on February 29, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    you guys are unduly worried. Srikkanth is taking care if it. http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/current/story/555746.html [[ I am going to do the simulation of Asia Cup for CastrolCricket.com. Given below is an extract from my proposal to them, sent a month back. "" I need to know the players selected for Asia Cup. It would not be a bad idea for me to do the Recent Form and Tournament simulation work on the later date since a few players might be “rested” for the Asia Cup, especially from India. Although, if Tendulkar fails to score his 100th-100 in the CB series he might make himself available and be included in the team. "" The guy who once called the selectors "a bunch of clowns" now finds himself across the table and may suddenly see that the description is apt. Ananth: ]]

  • Ananth on February 29, 2012, 3:56 GMT

    The document is taking final shape. I have updated the article with the following changes. This article has another 2/3 days currency and I will then forward it to Sambit Bal. 1. Changed the D/L comment to "show the alternate VJD target score in each situation". 2. Asked for Milind's "Ball difference" methodology to be considered to resolve league postions and have provided the required link. 3. Asked for a serious consideration of the split innings ODI possibility.

  • milpand on February 28, 2012, 22:55 GMT

    Ananth, Thanks for including BD in the blueprint. I did not consider the wickets because it is a post match measure. Teams sacrifice wickets in a limited overs game in order to score quickly. At the end of scheduled overs it does not matter how many wickets were kept in hand, just the final score. [[ I agree that only BD is sufficient for tie-resolving. However with Castrol, I was looking at performance. As such it was necessary for me to include the wicket resource. Incidentally, until last year, the Sri Lanka: 299, India: 54 was the most devastating performance by any team. Let me add: the relative Team strengths come into the picture. One reason why the huge wins the big teams achieved against the weaker teams do not come up. Also 434/438 or 320/321 will never come on top since the bowling, all round, has failed. Similarly 100/95 or 150/120. Ananth: ]]

  • milpand on February 28, 2012, 22:02 GMT

    I agree with Pelham who has described the problem properly. I was trying to point out that we remember the methodology of standard D/L while not paying enough attention to the fact that the model had to be upgraded to keep up with the changes in scoring pattern. Power plays, T20, smaller grounds etc have influenced Intl matches which will continue to change in future. Professional edition of D/L has also changed since 2004 and will need changes. This means the framework built around the famous equation is tinkered which obviously has limitations. VJD is a known alternative which does not have the constraints of a fundamental equation. I think it is better suited to track the changes in the game. It is my view without sufficient match data. By running a parallel system of publishing Par scores for both systems while maintaining D/L as the primary system, people will discover the limitations and advantages of both models in tricky situations. Perhaps a third solution might emerge. [[ Yes, I think Pelham's comment is a very precise and clear one: possibly requiring two readings, but expresses the problem correctly. I think I will introduce your comment on publicising both scores. I will update the article just now since it still has couple of days' life. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on February 28, 2012, 20:20 GMT

    @Ananth: Gerry is on a tear against team India and SRT but the article he pointed out is correct. It doesn't matter whether Malcom Conn is respected by anyone so long he speaks the truth. and his article is on the money. [[ Yes, I agree the nail was hit on the head, in a rather crude and abrasive manner. Ananth: ]] I feel SRT must retire from ODI's right now. It would be great if he retires from international cricket altogether right now. I saw some highlights and he has lost it totally. It is amusing that he kept saying "I will play cricket as long as I enjoy it"!! What's not to enjoy if you get paid fat money, get to travel and stay in 5 star hotels, get to enjoy good exercise, physiotherapy, and good food ... especially if media & selectors praise & reward your good outings and overlook all failures? Given all this, a decision to retire must seem absurd to him. He is not an intellectual and, unlike other cricketers, dropped out after 10th std itself. So, retirement must seem unbearable to him. So, expecting him to make the correct decision on it is too much, IMO. I am about the same age as SRT and followed him in earnest since 1987 itself. We all want someone we like to far transcend the limits of normally accepted excellence. For my generation, Viswanathan Anand and SRT were the two Indian sports personalities who did that. I hope SRT retires from international cricket altogether now because watching him bat these days is like performing funeral rites on the favorite son. [[ If Tendulkar has enjoyed his last 3 months in Australia, irrespective of what is going to happen over the next 10 days, we are living in different worlds. He does not need this type of non-performing hassle. I never thought I would live to see the day when there are so many "Tendulkar must retire" and "Tendulkar must be rested" type of opinions. Why, for the first time I am seeing a decent number of "Tendulkar must be dropped" type of opinions. You and I think alike on this issue. For me SRT is at a level very slightly below Anand and Federer. It would be a heart-break to see Tendulkar play 3/4 more innings in Asia Cup, each time expecting that he would somehow get to the elusive three-figure mark. Will the Asian sub-continent change it. Not necessarily. Bangladesh is a funny place. Wickets have slowed down and Afridi/Ajmal, Shakib/Razzak, Herath/Ranadiv/Mendis would be a handful. He must not stay on, just for the hundred, since India, at this juncture in ODIs, does not need him (and Sehwag). And yesterday's match was the final nail on the coffin. The baton has, irrevocably, passed on, 100% in the ODI game. The match-winners are in the middle order. There is only one person who can advise Tendulkar now to call for an end to his ODI career. Anjali, a wiser and older head. The Indian selectors are scared. The Board only counts beans. Dhoni has already landed in soup with some of his remarks. Let me suggest to the SRT-supporters that this is being told, without forgetting the 23 years, 650+ matches, 33k runs and what all the legend has achieved and done for India. And with 0.0% malice. Ananth: ]]

  • milpand on February 27, 2012, 22:25 GMT

    Regarding an alternative to NRR: I described the computations for "Ball Difference" especially for interrupted matches on my blog (http://pandimi.wordpress.com/bd-arithmetic) where Ken proposed his alternative of "Run difference" in the comments section. Today Mr Srinivas Bhogle endorsed this alternative, originally proposed by Duckworth and Lewis in their book. I don't like to combine runs scored by a team in various matches, the way Eng in CWC11 was involved in two 300+ maches against Ind and Ire and a low scoring thriller against RSA, to be the basis of a fair measure. I also prefer using actual match data instead of a modelled value for what the winning team batting second would have scored. Finally in an interrupted match, the measure should be scaled up to use all the overs unlike the D/L method.

    My blog is neither dedicated to cricket nor has any following. I hope interested readers discuss the ideas on this forum. [[ First time I have visited your blog. The ball difference looks like a more sound method than the NRR. I will incorporate this suggestion in the final version of this blueprint and suggest to Sambit that he forwards the final document. For the Castrol T20 Ratings I use a similar method. I look at the resources left at the time of win, taking into account balls remaining (what you have done) and wickets left. I have taken your example and reproduced below. "" Team A bat first and set a target of 265-8 off their full quota of fifty overs. Team B successfully chase, getting their winning runs with sixteen balls (2.4 of the 50 overs) remaining. The BD is 16. "" You would have the same difference whether Team B scored 266 for 4 or 266 for 8. I would have them differently since I am doing a Team performance analysis and the first team has performed better, losing only 4 wickets. I recommend that the readers visit Milind's blog. Ananth: ]]

  • Gerry_the_Merry on February 27, 2012, 7:31 GMT

    Here is proof of the low esteem that the Indian players are held. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/cricket/shane-watson-latest-to-fail-after-being-given-leadership-role/story-fn67wv6z-1226282025473 [[ Malcolm Conn is not a writer accepted even by Australians. I would have been worried much more if this had been by a more acceptable writer. Ananth: ]] Look at the dignified way in which Sri Lankan cricketers have behaved. They are unpaid, have lost family members in decades long internal conflicts in Sri Lanka, have been attacked by terrorists in Pakistan, have lost their best bowler, have not had a stable captaincy regime. Look at the pathetic behaviour of our team members. [[ It cannot be denied that today, India, to start with and Sri Lanka afterwards, lost the plot. India less so. I think the 40 over mark cleared the cobwebs in the Indian player's brains and this was moved straight into the Sri Lankan players. However this does not take away any of the woes of the previous three months. Ananth: ] ]

  • Pelham Barton on February 26, 2012, 14:43 GMT

    I would put the difference between D/L standard and professional slightly differently from milpand's recent post. The essential point is that in high scoring games a more constant rate of scoring needs to be maintained throughout the innings. This means that D/L standard par scores are too low in high scoring games - as in the example milpand quotes. The other side of the coin is that D/L standard sets unreasonably high targets in high scoring games when the break comes before the start of Team2's innings.

    This is why the professional edition is needed in international matches, and I support the view that the software should be made publicly available. D/L standard is still available for club cricket: in such matches, a high first innings total is likely to be the result of a huge discrepancy between the ability of the two teams, in which case any reasonable approximation to an accurate method will give a fair result for the match even if the winning margin is not quite right. [[ I have not understood why the Professional edition is not available for international matches. Is it the difficulty of usage for the officials. Ananth: ]]

  • milpand on February 26, 2012, 1:54 GMT

    There isn't a recent set of tables.

    The standard version of D/L, with a set of tables, favoured the chasing Team if wickets were kept in hand and moderate scoring rate maintained. India could have won CWC03 final by scoring 157/3 in 25 overs even though Aus scored 359.

    The improved professional edition which needs a computer addresses this problem. But access to software is protected. The coefficients used in the D/L equations are not in public domain.

  • Pelham Barton on February 25, 2012, 12:38 GMT

    Glad to have reached agreement. As I read the D/L standard (2002) tables, 160 for 5 in my example would lead to an increased target of about 193 to win - there would need to be 7 or more wickets down for a reduced target. Obviously it needs a detailed analysis to decide exactly where to draw the line, and there is certainly room for legitimate differences of opinion on the parameters of such an analysis. [[ Thanks, Pelham. That seems eminently correct. AT 7 wickets one gets into the realms of the teams getting dismissed more often than not. But is there not a recent set of tables. I had downloaded some couple of years back. Let me see. But the immediate problem is for some English batsman to read Ajmal. 2 in 7 is certainly not Swann-like. I am trying to recollect what happened in the ODIs. Ananth: ]]

  • Pelham Barton on February 25, 2012, 5:50 GMT

    Further to my previous posting, my opinions are

    A: The target should be quite a lot less than 161.

    B: This should be exactly the same as A, for the reasons given by Ananth in reply to milpand.

    C: This should be a bit more than B, but not much. Ananth states the two extremes, but in the imaginary scenario a quick end to Team1's innings is much more likely than a large partnership.

    D/L standard (2002 tables) gives 121 for A and B, 127 for C. That fits perfectly with my intuition here and seems to me to be completely logical. I fully agree with milpand that in practice a formal method is required and that D/L is a fair system. [[ Pelham (What a wonderful name. My favourite writer, the one and only Plum), I came on probably too strongly on D/L. My apologies. I have no problems with 160 for 1: the target should be quite high. I have no problems with 160 for 9: 127 seems just about right. It encompasses the 5% of chance of a wicket falling in ball no 32.1 and the 1% chance of the century stand and the 94% in between. My problem is really with, say, 160 for 5. This is the middling score where I think a sub-160 score is probably not correct. Ananth: ]]

  • milpand on February 24, 2012, 22:54 GMT

    @Pelham I opt for choosing a methodology over subjective choice. D/L is a fair system. In their book, D & L admit that VJD method is the only serious alternative. I am in favour of trying the alternative. It can be tested by publishing both VJD and D/L par score at the end of every over irrespective of rain interruption. [[ Milpand, A very fair comment. Pelham: The first two cases are clear cases of a team being dismissed for 160 in 50 overs, playing uninterrupted innings. It is immaterial that one innings lasted 50 overs and the other, 30. Team 2 should be given a target in between 96 and 150, depending on the method used. In case 3, in the imaginary scenario of the play being resumed, two contrastingand extreme arguments could be a wicket off the first ball of the 31st over or a Mathews-Malinga type partnership of 100+ runs. On balance I would be comfortable even if Team 2 is given a target of 161 runs, but would be uncomfortable with anything below 160. Ananth: ]]

  • milpand on February 24, 2012, 22:46 GMT

    Instead of two teams, toss itself can be replaced by "I cut, you choose". Away team gets to elect batting/fielding in lieu of home advantage. The statistically weaker team should be awarded the choice at neutral venues.

  • Pelham Barton on February 24, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    Following the comments by you and others on D/L, I would be interested to know what you think are fair targets for Team2 in these three situations:

    A. Team1 bats the whole 50 overs for 160 all out. There is then a rain delay and Team2's innings is reduced to 30 overs.

    B. Team1 is all out for 160 in 30 overs. There is then a rain delay and Team2's innings is reduced to 30 overs.

    C. Team1 is 160 for 9 after 30 overs when there is a rain delay. Team1's innings is not resumed and Team2's innings is reduced to 30 overs. [[ Good queations. I will publish so that others can come in at the earliest. Ananth: ]]

  • Anshu N Jain on February 24, 2012, 8:32 GMT

    While on the D/L method, I understand how it works but dont understand very well if the intricacies actually take from the past historical actual match performance (except for the par score which was initially 225, and later revised to 250).

    I would be very interested in looking at how well the D/L method would have predicted the actual outcomes of completed matches. Of course, this will have multiple scenarios built in, but we can start small (use subset of scenarios only).

    Ananth, would it be possible to do this? (I know if it is to be, its only you who can!): For all completed matches (without any rain interruptions AFTER the first ball has been bowled), look at the actual scores of the second innings (chase) at the completion of 20,25,30,35,40,45 and 50 overs, and compare the D/L method predictions at that stage to the actual match result. This will help observe if D/L is consistent within the same match, and across similar scenarious varying across matches. [[ Anshu I do not have access to ball-by-bll data and to do this I would have to go through the commentary. Cricinfo can do this in a flash. Ananth: ]]

  • David on February 23, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    This TBI can then be used to create a revised total. The equation I played with (but it produces figures that are a little low) is: Revised total = Total + (Innings RPO * 1.5 * overs remaining * TBI)

    If BR is greater than the total CBFs of the remaining batsmen, then the TBI is automatically greatly reduced (because we are adding averages, not SRs). This accounts for the situation where a team has lost a lot of wickets before a significant reduction in overs.

    I have used the whole CBFs for the batsmen currently at the crease under the assumption that the longer a player has been there, the more likely they are to exceed their CBF.

    For inexperienced batsmen, notional figures would have to be used according to batting position until they have faced enough career balls for their stats to be meaningful (eg, 500 balls for batsmen; 100 balls for bowlers).

    There’s probably lots wrong with this, and it isn’t as simple as Adam’s model, but I’m no statistician, so I’m happy to be shot down! [[ I myself have used the quality of remaining batsmen, over-matrix etc. But only to project an innings-end score. In other words 153 for 2 in 30 to 278 or 305 depending on different configurations. Howver, to use in a D/L situation seems quite far-fetched. Next comment will be that today Tendulkar cannot be looked at as a 44.83 batsman but rather as a 35 batsman, based on recent form and so on. I think a better idea is to make this suggestion and let them sort it out. It is obvious that there is no simple solution. Ananth: ]]

  • David on February 23, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    My suggestion is to use the same idea of overs left and wickets in hand, but to combine this with individual batsmen data, thus creating a metric that not only does justice to game situation, resources remaining, etc, but also to team strength, batting distribution, etc.

    The data required is: Career ave. Career balls faced/dismissal (CBF) (These come together later to form SR). Balls remaining in the match (BR)

    Then, using BR and CBF we do the following: starting with the batsmen at the crease and working down the order, we add up the individual CBFs until the total approaches without exceeding BR. The remainder (R) is used to create a proportion of the next batsman on the list’s CBF (R/CBF).

    With this data we can then create a team batting index (TBI) which is both related to career SR data for all players, and finessed for that particular game circumstance: TBI = ((ave1 + ave2 + … + R/CBF*aveN)/BR)/1.2 (taking 120 as the notional ceiling individual career SR).

    Cont’d.

  • David on February 23, 2012, 5:43 GMT

    I started to push some numbers using Adam's model of % for overs remaining plus % for wickets remaining, but I have neither the time nor expertise to make something work well. Here, however, are principles to consider:

    First, as background, the problem with Adam's model is what happens when the wickets in hand is large, and the overs reduction is small. If a team is 3/300 after 49 when a brief stoppage reduces the game to 49 overs, then according to Adam's model (with Ananth's variation), the revised total would be (0.5% for the 1 over and 2.0+2.0+1.5+1.0+0.75+0.5+0.5 = 8.25 for the wickets) 300*1.0875 = 326. This is surely too much; somewhere near 315 feels fair.

    Tis method fails at this boundary because with only one over left, it is impossible to use 7 wickets in hand and also score (m)any runs. So the underlying principle is unrealistic.

    Cont'd.

  • Ananth on February 23, 2012, 5:09 GMT

    Those who object to DRS should take the trouble of understanding what happened in the last Pakistan-England match. During a tight chase, twice English batsmen were given out Lbw, when even a visual replay showed that the ball had clearly hit the pad outside the off-stump. In both cases this was clearly visible even to the naked eye and the commentators, including the reputed Pakistani ones, mentioned that. In both cases the decisions were overturned. If Pietersen had been given out at 80, the match would have certainly gone to Pakistan. If Patel had been given out, there was a good chance of Pakistan winning. Just to confirm this, given below is the Cricinfo commentary. 33.1. Abdur Rehman to Pietersen, no run, 100.4 kph, straight away out lbw but reviewed and Pietersen is outside the line so survives. Goodness me it was an awful shot, trying to scoop over the keeper's head, managed to get himself outside the line. 43.2. Junaid Khan to Patel, no run, 135.7 kph, given out I don't know why!! Oh it's lbw and there's a review and it proves to be a very poor decision, Patel was clearly outside the line and the replays confirm as such, he did get beaten by a spot of low bounce though. Incidentally this was possible only because Morgan, wisely, chose not to review, as given below. So, a judicious use of DRS works very well. 15.4. Saeed Ajmal to Morgan, OUT, 86.8 kph, hit on the front pad, big stride but that won't save him! And Morgan has decided against the review. It looked like he might just have got outside the line of off stump but these marginal calls are just as likely to stay with the umpire's call in the Post DRS era. Pietersen, who had been completely DRS'ed in the Tests would feel now that there is something in DRS.

  • milpand on February 22, 2012, 22:34 GMT

    Steffi Graf beat Natasha Zvereva in 1988 French Open Final 6-0 6-0. Djokovic outlasted Nadal in the longest grand slam final 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5 where the scoreline does not reflect how keenly most of the points were contested. But the champion was paid twice as much as the finalist in both cases. [[ Tongue-in-cheek, I would say, Zvereva was lucky to get any payment at all. Just kidding. I would have been very happy, despite Graf standing a close no.2 in my list of top tennis players, for Zvereva to be paid two-thirds of what Graf received. Ananth: ]]

    Total prize money should be a higher percentage of net income so that all the players participating in a tournament get paid better in general. But irrespective of the margin of victory, a significantly higher amount should be awarded for reaching the next stage.

  • milpand on February 22, 2012, 22:09 GMT

    Regarding higher weight for away results: If 'ball difference' is accepted as a suitable tie-breaker then an away win in a 50 over ODI should be awarded +5 BD as a bonus (and +2 for a T20 game). [[ Yes, that makes good sense since Ball difference itself seems to be heck of a good alternative. Ananth: ]]

  • milpand on February 22, 2012, 22:06 GMT

    Substitution works in Football where 22 players are actively involved for the entire duration of the game. The brief experiment with supersub in 2005-06 has already exposed the problem because Cricket is different. So 11-a-side is the cornerstone of the game which should not be changed. [[ I am uncomfortable with super-subs because of the inherent problems. The element of magic in proper team selection will be gone. Captaincy will lose some of its tough traits. One minor change I would like to think of it is to let the captain decide on his team, after the toss. Let him walk in with two team sheets and select one, depending on whether he is batting or bowling. This will take away the over-importance of winnings the toss slightly. Ananth: ]]

  • milpand on February 22, 2012, 21:53 GMT

    D/L, VJD or any future method need not be simple as long as it is fair and transparent. Even if current version of D/L continues to remain in use forever, the target devised by such agreed model should not be overridden through subjective human input. Local umpires were declared as biased when the decisions did not favour away team. These days, a neutral umpire involved in a howler is considered incompetent (or human).

    There are errors/limitations in capture, measurement and alignment (not to mention human errors in interpretation or during playback) of DRS technologies like Hawk-Eye, Hot Spot etc. If DRS is in use, then the known limitations should be transparently shared and whatever the result, it must be accepted unconditionally for that match.

    Improvement in model/technology will improve results over time. So on a given day assume that the available technology is the best choice and accept the objective result.

  • Aditya Nath Jha on February 22, 2012, 18:45 GMT

    Dear Anantha,

    Leg side wide: I think that the only reason that supports the current rule is the consistency of evaluation. Every tv viewer can predict a wide before the umpire signals it. while i agree with your definition, it will mean a case by case evaluation. [[ Why bring in the viewer instead of correcting an obvious error. I am only saying, change the law to "If the ball pitches within the stumps, do not declare a wide. If the ball pitches outside the leg stump and passes the leg stump, declare a wide". This seems to be eminently correct. Let us say Swann pitches on off-break on the leg stump. How difficult is to play this delivery. A good batsman will target run-ball from six such deliveries. He has the entire leg side to take 2 singles and hit a four. There is a limit to the number of leg side fielders. Why give him additional protection. The law allows 7/8/9 fielders on the off side and consistently bowling off-cutters 6 inches outside the off-stump. Not one of these would be called a wide. The batsman might not even be able to score a single. Ananth: ]]

    D/L method: You know better, but i find it terrific. I have used it to predict the end score in a normal non-rain hit match. The moment the boundary conditions are changed (interruptions and reduced overs), a lot of "what ifs" come in. D/L is the best (complete) solution till now IMHO.

    2 Bouncers/over: Absolutely agree.

    12 overs/bowler for 2 bowlers: I think one bowler should be allowed unlimited overs and the rest should continue with a cap of 10.

    But the 2 ideas that can revolutionize ODIs are split innings (30/20 according to me) and the use of subs (Not 16 players, but maybe 13). [[ I get the feeling there is good support for the two-innings split. Ananth: ]]

    Thanks Aditya

  • Anshu N Jain on February 22, 2012, 14:16 GMT

    :D Not at all! I'm all for the fun.

    Actually, cant help but feel that the most creative stakeholders in making cricket interesting are the bean counters!! If only we could get them to contribute their views on making ODIs more interesting here (or any other forum that the ICC deems fit)!

  • David on February 22, 2012, 13:11 GMT

    Thanks for the clarification, Ananth; it just gets better!

    Because we all know that the more money that's involved, the better the cricket. That's the one obvious factor missing from this whole discussion about how to improve ODIs ... pay the players or the boards squillions and the crowds will come like moths to a flame. [[ Anshu, let us have some fun. Don't get upset. Ananth: ]]

  • David on February 22, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    Hmmm ... There are bean counters in Dubai who can already see a new income stream for cricket in Anshu's suggestions...

    Laws governing ODIs #6342a: Spectators and/or sponsors may bid for the right to send one player from the field during the powerplay overs. Base price for players is determined by ICC rankings and indexed to TV rights income. If base price is not reached, the player remains on the field. If different factions disagree about the choice of player, the faction which raises the highest sum (above base price) gains the right of choice ... [[ You missed one very important point. If multiple bids are received for the player to be sent off, the two faction-enforcers will be asked to submit a closed envelope bid. The higher one will win and the extra money bid will go to BCCI (Oh! this is not IPL, so ICC) coffers. Shades of IPL bidding for the currently non-performing superman, Jadeja. 2 million bid by two IPL franchises. Closed envelope was asked for and CSK won. It was rumoured that upwards of 3 million was offered, making Jadeja (who ???) a 5-million player. Wiki entry "" In 2012 IPL Players Auction, Ravindra Jadeja was bought by Chennai Super Kings for $2 million after a tie breaker between Chennai Super Kings and Deccan Chargers as both the team bid for the same amount. "" Ananth: ]]

    It's a win-win-win concept! The more fans who go to the game, the better chance the home team has of winning and the more money the ICC has to plough into ... er ... well, they'll think of something, I'm sure.

    It would also put a new slant on the post-match interviews: "I really want to thank the paying public for getting behind the team in such a big way tonight. We couldn't have done it without you!"

    Crowd participation!

  • Clyde on February 22, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    No doubt other rules would drive me away, but I don't have to go past the artificial placing of fielders in one-day. Why not just have a game of cricket, which is much more interesting than something rigged according to the arcane comprehension of a few? What is wrong with stacking the boundaries, for example? Doesn't it just mean that more runs would be scored on the in-field? Most of us have played most of our cricket in shearing sheds or on school quadrangles. What does it matter if one bowler bowls 25 overs? I don't think any of your hoped-for spectators would have a clue about the esoterica being gone into on their behalf. It seems logical to me that spectators will shift toward tests of cricket, Test matches. [[ I am with you all the way. Couple of years back I did a ODI improvement piece for another site and given below is an extract. "" Have the first 15 overs as Powerplay overs and then have a single restriction of 4 fielders inside the ring for the next 35 overs. Let the batting team improvise. Let them find the gaps and run well between the wickets. Sixes can still be hit. "" Ananth: ]]

  • Anshu N Jain on February 22, 2012, 11:41 GMT

    A quick suggestion on powerplays while i am still poring through the multitude of suggestions from the readers:

    In the Bowling powerplays, let there be 12 fielders on the field, with the usual restrictions of "inside the 30 yard circle". This will put the 12th man to better use than simply fetching drinks for his side when they bat.

    In the Batting powerplays, let the batting team nominate a player from the bowling side (among the starting 11) who sits out for the powerplay overs. They could very well choose the best bowler on show!

    Let there be 15 overs of Bowling powerplays and 10 overs of Batting powerplays to restore some balance between the two skills. Further, let the teams choose their powerplay overs in tranches of 5 overs whenever they would like to, during the innings, with the Bowling team given the prerogative at the start of each over, to choose a powerplay if they would like. [[ Well and truly has the Anshu cat been let loose amongst the pigeons. Radical suggestions. Let us see the responses. Ananth: ]]

  • Regi Baptiste on February 22, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    Subject to correction, I think the single innings formats in cricket(ie. the ODIs and T/20)matches are the only sporting disciplines which do not give a particular category of participants in a contest, viz. the batsman a second chance to correct an untimely mistake, meaning that if a batsman gets out for say a duck in a match (especially via the first and only delivery he faces), he has no second chance whatsoever to try to correct that mistake. Depending on that player's luck, he might be dropped from the team and never get the chance to play a match at that level again! Hence, I have always said that traditional cricket was built on a format for two innings, which I think was done to at least give a batsman a second chance to showcase himself, if he failed at his first chance. It therefore means that ODIs can be played on a two innings basis of 25 overs split innings each. All you need to do is to start a match little earlier and you can also go on later as a result of modern lighting systems at the grounds. Certain rules would be changed; for example, a batsman who was not out in the 80s or 90s in the first innings would be allowed to complete an official 100 in the second innings, etc, putting him on par with bowlers who see hattricks in split matches. And ODIs can become the new format for test match cricket. In addition, rules for power plays, etc. would be changed so that no team has an advantage over the other; and the D/L system would not be necessary. Eg. the first 8 overs per innings would be the powerplay and no bowler would be allowed to bowl more than 2 overs, etc.

  • Ravi on February 22, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    hi ananth, while i tend to agree to most of your points, i would query the basis of a max number of overs per bowler? the team has to bowl 50 overs in approx 3.5 hrs.....so let the fielding side decide the individual quantities? [[ You are suggesting a completely free bowler allocation.I don't think anyone will take it since the restriction was there even for match 1 and has been operative for 3247 matches. That is the cornerstone of ODI matches. The 3.5 hours does not present any problem to the pace-centric Australians. They finish comfortably. At the end of each over they sprint to the other end. The Indians, with their multiple drinks breaks, the number of physio visits, their field changes, often 3 times within an over and lethargic moves in between overs seem to have the problems. If ICC cracks the whip at Dhoni (which they seem to have done) and in turn Dhoni cracks the whip at his players (which he does not seem to do), it should be fine. Ananth: ]]

  • Umar on February 22, 2012, 6:47 GMT

    Ananth, I have two points to make regarding increasing the audience of one-day internationals, and may be even tests.

    First, may be for people like me, 50 over matches are more insteresting. but if you look, the more popular games worldwide are shorter games, they respect the time audience has to spare for a match. Watching 50 overs a side takes 6 hours, whereas if we have 40 overs a side, it will still take 4.5 hours, but that would be a step in the right direction. [[ This suggestion makes sense from that point of view. But I think you are living in the world of Lohmann, Briggs, Nadkarni, Nasim-ul-ghani et al. 80 overs, with a 20 minute break, is likely to take upwards of 6 hours. Ananth: ]] Similarly, i think that test matches should be reduced to only 70 overs in a day, so that bowlers can have longer test careers. currently, spinners like muralitharan can go on till they are 39, batsmen like jayasuria and tendulkar can also go on till they are 38+, but fast bowlers have to retire by the time they are 35. to make their careers also longer in tests, each day no more than 70 overs should be bowled. [[ Reducing the number of overs to 70 is not going to exactly increase the life span of the fast bowlers. Cutting down ODI matches and managaing the pace bowlers' work-load will probably be the way to go. Don't forget that the same pace bowlers will also want to play in XPL tournaments. Ananth: ]]

  • Mark on February 22, 2012, 4:30 GMT

    I can see where you're coming from on idea one and three, but think about a system to revise targets to account for ability of teams at least.

    I mean, in my previous post, I had Australia bowl out Zimbabwe for 50 on a greentop, and normally Australia's target would be 51 - where's the entertainment in that? The result is a foregone conclusion.

    I had in my mind that the match referee could use the D/L tables as a basic guide, and adjust the target (in this case, 51) after taking the other team's ability into account.

    Theoretically, it makes for a competitive and entertaining match, and also levels the playing field in ODI and 20/20 at least. [[ Let us move this forward. On a wintry, windy and miserable day, Zimbabwe bowls out Australia for 100. Would not they be entitled to score 101 and win. Ananth: ]]

  • Adam on February 22, 2012, 3:27 GMT

    The same method could be used in reverse for par scores in the event of Team 2's innings being disrupted - instead of a target bonus, the target is discounted using the same values.

    Eg. SA vs Eng World Cup game in Sydney, 1992. England scored 252, South Africa were 6/231 in reply with 13 balls to go. They then lost 2 overs to rain. By my figures, the target for the end of that particular over would be 230. So presuming South Africa didn't lose a wicket off that infamous last ball, they would win.

    Ultimately, I believe my system provides no great advantage to either side - a team that bats well in the first innings of a game is rewarded for good performance (see the Australia v India example) and a team that bowls first and bowls well (see the Australia v Sri Lanka example) is also rewarded by having a smaller increase in the target.

  • Adam on February 22, 2012, 3:17 GMT

    2. I created a simpler D/L system last night in Excel prompted by this article.

    Wickets and overs still have a value when setting the target, but the formula would be easier to understand and calculate - and it would ensure the side batting second always has to reach a higher target.

    Each over lost by the team batting first is valued at 0.5% and each wicket they have in hand at the end of their innings is valued at 2%. All those percent's are added up to become a bonus percentage which is added onto Team 1's score - then add 1 run to set the target.

    Eg. Aus v Ind in Melbourne, Aus scored 5/216 in 32 overs. They lost 18 overs (bonus 9%) and still had 5 wickets in hand (bonus 10%) - their score is therefore increased by 19%. Plus 1 for the target and India would have had to chase 258, instead of 216. [[ This looks somewhat high. The wickets valuation is a flat 2%. Could be changed to a sliding scale, say, 2/2/2/2/2/1.5/1.0/0.75/0.5/0.5. Now your wickets bonus will become 4.25 (1.5+1.0+0.75+0.5+0.5). So the total bonus is 13.25. The target would be a more acceptable 245. Again the whole idea can be tweaked around. Ananth: ]]

    Aus v SL in Sydney, Aus were bowled out for 158 in 40.5/41 overs. They get 4.5 bonus for the 9 overs they lost, but no wickets in hand bonus. The target becomes 166, instead of 152. [[ This looks perfect. Ananth: ]]

  • Adam on February 22, 2012, 3:07 GMT

    A couple of thoughts I had as a keen cricket watcher:

    1. On the extra overs for bowlers, in our Ryobi Cup one day domestic tournament in Australia, one bowler can bowl up to 13 overs.

    A recent game I saw where this was used to great effect was Tasmania vs NSW in Hobart - when Tassie were only 5 down and looking likely to win and NSW needed to take wickets, Scott Coyte still had about 3 or 4 overs to bowl and he took another 2 wickets to really liven up the contest.

    Am all for that change - who doesn't want to see more of the best bowlers? [[ Yes, it will add a new dimension to the game. Batting captains might even be tempted to adopt the PP earlier, now almost certainly mandated at over 35, to see how the bowler utilization would be. Ananth: ]]

    continued

  • Dulan on February 22, 2012, 2:53 GMT

    "What happened at the MCG was quite ridiculous"

    Please try to understand the D/L system properly before making wrong statements. You are just jumping on the bandwagon regarding the D/L system. It was perfectly reasonable & accurate. If a team was 100/9 in 25 overs (in a 50 over match) & the rain came & reduced the game to a 30 over match & they scored 110 in 30, Would you object to the target being reduced? That's exactly the sort of thing that happened there. [[ You should read the excellent informed comments being made by David on this topic. Any target score which is lower than the actual score, when a team can plan the innings of less number overs, is completely against all known cricketing common-sense. This I will say in any forum. And this is not influenced by the fact that the lower target score was fixed for Sri Lanka or India or Australia. My answer will be the same if the teams had been the other way around, This, I say, irrespective of what was the score at interruption. As far as your stetament on my understanding D/L, I have a better and clearer understanding than 99% of the readers. I have mapped the complete table into a 'C' program with the ability to plug in various scenarios and getting the target score. I know every nuance of D/L. I know the significance of multiple resources being consumed and available. The program can handle upto 5 rain breaks. Ananth: ]]

  • Ranga on February 21, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    One more thing for the "Purists" who feel that the game should be devoid of newer changes. Lot of things have changed for the good. We can't have ALL the rules of 1950's in an era of TV and internet in 2011. While basic things SHOULD be the same, there are other things which need to evolve. We didnt have this sort of commercialization and money pouring in. Will those purists be ready to accept 75 Rs (Roughly $1.5) per day today? Will they accept to travel by ship without endorsements? No. They want the goodness of the modern age but still want to be in the stone age. Every game has been evolving. Billions are watching every match on TV/internet (Not just Indians). The crowds, noise, distractions are more these days and hence, umpires are more prone to errors. Just like helmets were introduced to aid batsmen, it is fair to assume technology protects umpires:) No technology is 100% perfect. But we have to embrace, as trillions of money are at stake for every match. [[ As one writer put it, tongue in cheek, "when Tendulkar or Dhoni (who oppose DRS since it is not 100% accurate) get into a plane, they must know that the plane has only a 99.99% chance of landing safely". Having said that I now feel Tendulkar has gone off the DRS band wagon. At least he does not oppose it as he did couple of years back. In fact between DRS and D/L. I feel that the later is less reliable. It is an excellent piece of modelling work which works 95% of the time, targets evaluated intuitively. Probably DRS is ahead of this. Ananth: ]]

  • Ranga on February 21, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    @ DRS: I don't know if it is too high tech or whatever, but one of the many things which Anti-DRS brigade says is that the umpire on field is in the best position to judge the ball trajectory.

    If that be the case, why not track the ball from the onfield umpire's eye level? They already have an ear piece. Let them also have two cameras on their ears (with focal points adjusted to the centre so that it matches the eye levels)? Of course, I am not sure how feasible it is. If stump cameras are feasible, i think this also should be. Then the tracking is from eye level, which might increase the accuracy. Or at least, it would considerably be in line with the argument: "On field umpire is in the best position to judge LBWs"

  • Michael on February 21, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    The single biggest change I would make to all limited overs cricket, is to require any ball that results in a 6 to be bowled again. Thus any 10 runs off the last ball would not be a dead game as a six would allowing the batsmen another crack at hitting the winning runs. [[ Michael, I think you seriously want the first 300 score in T20s and first 500 in ODIs !!! Ananth: ]]

  • Gerry_the_Merry on February 21, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    Ananth, you have said it is too general a comment to ask for bowler friendly pitches to be made. I dont know about other readers/viewers, but I am enjoying the current one-day series as I have never done before. What is the difference ? The rules or the grounds/pitches and a batter balance between bat and ball?

    To me it is obvious that a good contest between teams and between bat and ball must both be ensured. Tweak the rules all you want, but dont forget, even with the current set of rules, the games are very watchable in Australia/SA/England. The problem is only in India. Absolutely placid batting tracks, very small grounds, so you can produce big scores.

    It has already harmed our cricket. So I am disappointed that after an article solely devoted to improving one-day cricket, you find the comment on bowler friendly pitches too general.

    I firmly believe that unless we restore bat/ball contest in India, no cricket will seem interesting. [[ Gerry, you are too sensitive. What I told was that it was too general a comment to put forward as a suggestion. I never said I did not agree with you. Tell me when, during the past 40 years, have Australian matches not been true contests between ball and bat. And where in India can make sporting wickets. We will either have chasable 300+ scores or dust bowls. Australia is a class by itself in this area. Surprisingly UAE has also provided reasonably middling matches. By design ??? Ananth: ]]

  • SM on February 21, 2012, 8:27 GMT

    @Ananth, Agree, one can look at Cricinfo commentaries to see how many times DRS seems to vary with human opinon. But I was referring to more laboratory test based stats wherein you don't have a batsmen and try to predict the ball trajectory and compare with actual trajectory. Would expect the results to vary based on type of bowler, type of pitch, weather conditions, amount of post bounce actual trajectory the DRS uses as input for its prediction etc. The results could then be used to make statements like "in such and such conditions, with x milli seconds of post bounce actual trajectory, the actual final position of the ball would lie within the predicted space 95% of time". [[ Dave Richardson's recent interview indicated that such an analysis has been done and continues to be done. Ananth: ]]

  • SM on February 21, 2012, 8:17 GMT

    An interseting analysis would be to see for a large number of completed innings, comparison of how at different points post 25 overs, teams ahead on DL win and how many times they lose and similarly for teams behind on DL. [[ Again, possible to do with the aid of the commentary. have always thought that one can develop an excellent Rain rule model by doing a complete analysis of the matches completed. I have my ideas but lack the time and resources to do it myself. Ananth: ]]

  • SM on February 21, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    @David Agree that shortening of overs makes batsmen less risk averse. That is precisely why my simplistic method of multiplication is flawed. I would need to know the exact details of how DL obtains the resource map before commenting whether this factor is accounted for in DL. But in the match mentioned by Ananth both Aus and India were able to take more risks in the overs left. (Aus happened to be more successful at it in this instance). Agree that factors like equally distributed batting strength, some batsmen being more useful in shorter formats than longer etc. would not be accounted for by DL, but wouldn't want umpires to consider such team specific factors when they were putting in their vote in your method suggested. (would want them to restrict themselves to team agnostic factors like weather, pitch, outfield conditions in making their adjustments to DL score as I believe DL is unlikely to adjust for that).

  • SM on February 21, 2012, 8:11 GMT

    @David Agree that shortening of overs makes batsmen less risk averse. That is precisely why my simplistic method of multiplication is flawed. I would need to know the exact details of how DL obtains the resource map before commenting whether this factor is accounted for in DL. But in the match mentioned by Ananth both Aus and India were able to take more risks in the overs left. (Aus happened to be more successful at it in this instance). Agree that factors like equally distributed batting strength, some batsmen being more useful in shorter formats than longer etc. would not be accounted for by DL, but wouldn't want umpires to consider such team specific factors when they were putting in their vote in your method suggested. (would want them to restrict themselves to team agnostic factors like weather, pitch, outfield conditions in making their adjustments to DL score as I believe DL is unlikely to adjust for that).

  • SM on February 21, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    @Ananth, Yes, no doubt there would be both advantages and disadvantages for using DRS for LBWs for Indians. Only worry for me is that I have not seen any arguments made either by its proponents or opponents which are based on test results. Makes me wonder if its a closely guarded secret among the technology developers and few key people at ICC. [[ Very likely. Although I feel that if one has the patience and time to go through Cricinfo commentaries, I have neither, a committed reader could develop good stats on DRS. Ananth: ]]

  • Ankur on February 21, 2012, 7:17 GMT

    Fat chance that BCCI may even consider on these lines. 1) What if say Bangladesh and Sri Lanka beat India (has happened before)? Will India accept getting relegated to second tier of cricket? [[ If they do not accept, a few readers would tell them what they can do. Does India have the divine right to remain in the top-4. Let me also say, if Australia or Palistan or South Africa get knocked out, they should also move to the next tier. Ananth: ]] 2) Cutting down the number of ODIs per year will only mean one thing, I'm afraid, IPL all year long. [[ Not really. It might mean more shorter and crisper Test series. Ananth: ]]

    As noble a thought it was, I'm convinced it is merely for theoretical purposes only.

  • Rohit Mehta on February 21, 2012, 5:49 GMT

    Ananth,

    How about combining the idea of split innings with the idea of two new balls? That is, 25 overs per side before change-over and each set of 25 overs starts with a new ball. Also the first and last 5 overs of each 25 over set would be a powerplay. Also my 2 cents on the "hot" issues- [[ Once we get the two new balls in play, we have gone past any traditional objecters. So it is a natural progression to the two innings concept. And it will also make the tie-resolution that much better. Let us see what are the other comments. Ananth: ]]

    DRS: I agree to it being a level playing field, but I dont think its ready yet to become mandatory. There has been enough controversy even with the use of DRS- the recent Eng/Pak series amongst others. Its tough to accept that a batsman can be ruled out lbw even if the ball is hitting a millimeter of the leg stump, just because the original decision was out. I am all for using replays, but with some common sense please!

    D/L: Though its tough to use for most of us, I feel it is intuitive in terms of resources used up and left. Mindset of the batsmen is as important in calcuating a target, as numbers. Whatever the D/L calculates, there is always room to argue the opposite; I would stick by it

  • David on February 21, 2012, 5:11 GMT

    To respond to the defence of D/L on the basis of the Aus-SL game: what if the same metric had been used for Aus-SL at the MCG in November 2010 (#3065)? SL were 8-107 in the 26th, but managed to overhaul Australia’s total of 239 in the 45th over thanks to a record 9th wicket partnership between Matthews and Malinga. If the rain had come after over #30 (SL 8-149), D/L would have probably awarded a comfortable victory to Aus. Could an umpire have awarded the match to SL? Maybe not, but he would at least have thought about it! The cricinfo commentary at the end of over #30 said: “Australia rattled here?”

    In other words, that Aus was dismissed against SL the other night doesn’t prove that D/L works; it merely shows that it’s not an abject failure – it does occasionally get close - but no more than that. As Ananth suggests, no one would have felt an injustice had been done if the target had been increased by 5-6 runs rather than decreased by 6, and the outcome would have been the same.

  • David on February 21, 2012, 5:08 GMT

    So what does this mean for D/L targets when the 2nd innings is reduced?

    1) I think we need to revert to at least 25 overs (preferably 30) for a completed match; in many situations there is no way of predicting how a team will go after only 20 overs. Better to have a match declared a draw than for the fans to go home feeling hard done by. [[ Yes, at the risk of a few more no result matches, the 25 over minimum reqmt seems to be well-justified. Just as 10 overs for T20s. The 6-overs rule is ridiculous. Ananth: ]]

    2) From 30 overs, the 4 officials can once again be given the responsibility to decide a fair D/L par score, using the D/L tables as a basis, but adjusting them according to their experience of the situation. This would enable them to give less weight to wickets lost than D/L currently calculates, while at the same time preventing a team from going on all-out attack when they can see the rain is only a few overs away and losing most of their wickets in the process.

    There are too many subtleties in cricket that cannot be captured in an algorithm.

    Cont’d.

  • David on February 21, 2012, 5:07 GMT

    Further on D/L. Another failing with it is the assumption that 1) all teams have equally distributed batting strength and 2) a wicket is always a negative.

    When innings 2 is reduced, D/L assumes that more wickets lost means greater difficulty in reaching the target, hence the "par D/L score" is continually revised up as wickets fall.

    The problems are: 1) Some teams (eg, NZ) traditionally have a relatively weak top order, decent middle order but strong tail, while others (eg Ind) have a powerful top and middle order but a long tail. So there is a big difference in the scoring ability of NZ after they've lost 6 wickets versus India in the same situation. D/L is incapable of this nuance.

    2) The wicket of an out-of-touch batsman can actually improve a side's chances. Take the latest Aus-Ind ODI: if Ponting and Forrest hadn't been dismissed, Aus would have finished with probably 50 runs less. D/L penalises a team for trying to nurse a star player back into form.

    Cont'd.

  • Ranga on February 21, 2012, 4:49 GMT

    Very interesting article. WCL is a very good option - scheduling and logistics shouldnt be a problem if the FTP is framed to accommodate that. It would make sure that there is an even ground - it would benefit the "media-minnows" like Bangladesh, NZ and WIndies to play as many chances as Oz,Ind & Eng. It would also facilitate Test championships. [[ The great benefit is to designate clear "event years". Ananth: ]]

    And super sub is worth looking at. Historically, India was the only country to resist most innovative changes, citing reasons. And the selection of super sub made all the difference and toss became vital. I dont see any negativity in this (but Indians did). Similarly the powerplays. Indians are still unsure of what to do in powerplays. Indians CLAIM sticking to tradition (not that we were world beaters in 50's and 60's whose rules we want to follow even today).

    For cricket's sake, the monopoly of media champs (Oz, Eng & Ind) should tame down. ICC is supposed to mediate and provide a level playing field which it is not doing currently

  • David on February 21, 2012, 4:33 GMT

    Hi Ananth,

    Most of the 2nd paragraph of my previous post seems to have dropped out. For the sake of completeness, the stats I used were:

    gt 4% of T20I innings pass 200, but lt 0.5% of ODI innings reach 350; 1.3% of T20I innings reach 3/200 or better, while only 0.4% of ODI innings reach 6/350 or better. This implies that reducing the number of overs improves the scoring rate without a concomitant increase in risk-taking. [[ Problem, David is that these are published using Html scripts. Hence the lt or gt sign create problems. Ananth: ]]

  • SM on February 21, 2012, 3:35 GMT

    I also appreciate that the argument cuts both ways as in why is the BCCI not using statstical data to back its opposition if the data shows that DRS is not sufficiently accurate. But then the BCCI might have its own reasons for being obscure and trying to understand a rationale for its actions is way beyond me. Having said that, I wouldnt really mind an LBW rule which says that its out if DRS says its out, which would ensure consistency for all countries. [[ I am also surprised that someone like Dravid, with his analytical ability, has not anayzed the data, found its method of working and assured the intuitive Dhoni that India could as well use the same to their advantage. Imagine Ashwin having DRS on a supportive pitch, as Mendis had. Or for that matter Zaheer. Ananth: ]]

  • SM on February 21, 2012, 3:32 GMT

    Ananth, Thanks for your thoughts above. Fully agree with you that one country shouldn't be able to say No. My point was that its not necessary that 'have DRS' is necessarily the correct decision, though its likely to be the democratic decision based on current positions of various boards. On the availability of test results, I am sure that they were always available as the technology developers would have conducted extensive testing in the process of developing the equipment. I merely wonder if the fact that there is no publicity around it could be because there the data is not really supportive. I find it difficult to believe that had the data been supportive of its accuracy, the developers wouldnt have ensured that it made its way into the public domain with sufficient publicity through pro-DRS panelists, experts etc. (contd)

  • Rohit Mehta on February 21, 2012, 3:21 GMT

    (continuing from my previous post)...

    And though I understand the prize-money is subjective, I cant help but think the gap between 1st and 2nd is too wide, given the length of the tournament and just a difference of 1/2 matches more won. (I dislike this concept in some other sports too!) [[ I am a great guy for that. I hate every one of winner-takes-all contests. There is a very nice musical reality show which we follow on and off. The winner gets a house worth a crore and the runner-up gets 10 lakhs (10%). Both have probably sung 100 songs over 8 months and put in the same effort. You could place their achievement levels at 100-98 but the prize money is 100-10. Ananth: ]]

    I wanted to suggest this alternative-

    Winner: 30%. Runner-up: 20%. 3rd placed team: 10%. 4th placed team: 7%. 4 Main league qualifiers: 4% each (16%). 4 eliminated teams from preliminary leagues: 2.5% each (10%). Associates: 7%

  • Rohit Mehta on February 21, 2012, 3:14 GMT

    Hi Ananth,

    I have read and appreciated all your blogs on this website till date. Enjoy them being a true-blood cricket and statistics fan myself. However, I think this article takes the cream, simply because in most other articles you analyze what has already happened, while here we have an amazing blueprint for the future.

    I do not know if the ICC via Cricinfo will pay the requisite attention to your article, but a lot of suggestions are definitely worth trying, on both match-level and game-level.

    But I do not agree with all the suggestions made here-

    1. Re-defining the leg side wide: might make it very tough to determine if it was a genuine Graeme Swann off-break that turned from middle & leg or just a ploy to keep firing it there as a defensive tactic [[ If Swann consistently bowled on the leg stump to keep the runs down, what is to prevent the batsman from using the existing field restrictions to score 5 singles and one four off 10 such balls. Ananth: ]]

    2. Fielder hitting stumps: Will encourage lots of useless throwing and maybe time wasting. The art of fielding majorly involves the understanding of when to throw and when not to. In that regard, the current rule is fine

  • Mark on February 21, 2012, 3:05 GMT

    Great blueprint, I think that the ICC would have some interest in your plan.

    Three other ideas: 1) Special scoring zones where runs count double - this would make for very interesting batting; 2) a system to revise targets to account for ability of teams and conditions (e.g. Australia bowl out Zimbabwe for 50 on a greentop, Australia's target revised up to 200+) - a great way to keep matches entertaining and competitive; 3) a yellow/red card system for slow over rates (yellow, bowling team warned; red, six run penalty for each over short and captain directed to take current bowler off) - Dhoni etc. should have no trouble with the match referee. [[ Your first two points are probably non-starters. The third makes eminent sense. Ananth: ]]

  • Damo on February 21, 2012, 2:22 GMT

    Regarding the D/L method, however: The Australia-Sri Lanka match mentioned above is actually a case-in-point of how well it does work. Whilst in a typical innings, an interruption and subsequent reduction in the available overs would indeed advantage the batting side, this is not always the case.

    Australia had reached 6/88 after 26 overs in the course of trying to play out 50 overs as rain halted play. At this point, it would appear unlikely that Australia could have taken advantage of 50 overs by scoring more than they could in 41 overs as it would appear that they did not have enough resources to attack even a 41-over innings - and so it transgressed.

    Had Sri Lanka been given an upward-revised target they would have suffered the dual punnishments of (i) being asked to chase a score greater than that which Australia would have amassed in their 50-over innings and (ii) being given fewer than 50 overs to do so. More runs in fewer overs - this would clearly be an injustice. [[ I agree with the points being made. My idea of the Sri Lanka target would have been around 5/6 runs more than Australia. That is all. Ananth: ]]

  • Damo on February 21, 2012, 2:20 GMT

    I like many of the suggestions presented here; I am particularly for a relaxation on restrictions on bouncers, the resolution of wide issues for switch hits and the principle of the WCL to reduce meaningless matches - the utter failure of the substitution of the Australian tri-series with two bi-lateral series was as predictable as it was comprehensive.

  • Sancho on February 21, 2012, 0:12 GMT

    I certainly like the idea that under the WCL, the team which finished top would host three games. That would make the previous games more meaningful. I think some of your suggestions are good , such as the no ball free hit. Like you say, it will probably eliminate most no-balls, but not many matches are won or lost by that.

    The main problem, as I see it in cricket, is just the lack of competitive teams. You have eight teams in the entire world who can compete, and only three or four of them actually win. And when you have a team like Australia in the early 2000s, no amount of Powerplays or bowler changes will let the other teams catch up. I think ODI problems are much deeper than the rules and the length of series. It goes right to the heart of the international cricket order.

    In football, the eleventh beat team (Argentina) could certainly beat the first (Spain). In cricket, that would happen maybe once in 100 times. The solution? I dont know. [[ In a way, Sancho, this is like Major League Baseball. How many teams are capable of winning the "World" Series. No more than a quarter of the field. Ananth: ]]

  • David on February 20, 2012, 23:40 GMT

    @SM re D/L. D/L is flawed because it assumes that batsmen naturally play at an optimal risk-reward ratio, & ODIs and T20s push the balance over to the risk side. In fact, batsmen are by nature conservative: they don't play as many risk-free shots as they could (even in ODIs). Reducing the overs doesn't simply increase the number of risky shots played, it changes the batsman's mindset, so that he hits a higher proportion of RISK-FREE shots.

    How else to explain that >4% of T20I innings* have passed 200 (30% of them with at least 7 wickets in hand), while <0.5% of ODI innings* have crossed 350? In other words, a full 1.3% of T20I innings have reached 3/200 or better, but only 0.4% of ODI innings have reached 6/350 or better.

    So reducing the overs changes not only the physical resources available, but also the mindset of the players. They expect to score more, so they do - without taking many more risks.

    D/L can't measure psychology. [[ That is an interesting point. I once did an analysis, I think not for Cricinfo but my own site, of letting ODI innings coming to natural end. I used the scores, wickets lost, batsmen at crease, bowler overs left and extrapolated. I think that was before the 434/438 and the maximum I reached was just over 450. Ananth: ]]

    * Excluding innings against minnows; %s approximate

  • milpand on February 20, 2012, 22:58 GMT

    Offside rule in football and LBW in cricket has changed over the years and may change again. LBW laws need to be reviewed in the light of DRS. The predictive element of ball tracking technology does not get highlighted in the replays. I prefer an ever widening predictive path as the distance increases. Viewers are shown ONE CERTAIN path irrespective of the distance travelled. Marginal LBW decisions in favour of bowlers can be balanced by tracking the ball against 'shorter and narrower stumps'. [[ Very nice point. With the narrow path being shown now, there seems to be an implied certitude. With your suggested widening of the path, the predictive nature will come through, both for the umpires and public. Also I have a problem with the commentators being 100%-certain in their pronouncements. The Ravi-Shastri type of "No way", "Absolutely a belter", "ridiculous selection" et al seems to be coming through. Ananth: ]]

  • milpand on February 20, 2012, 22:27 GMT

    Ananth, your fellow columnist on Castrol Cricket, Mr Srinivas Bhogle, has compared Duckworth Lewis with VJD method: http://www.castrolcricket.com/ee/index.php/castrol_weblog/jayadevan_vs_duckworth-lewis/

    VJD isn't simpler than D/L, just different. Both the methods have improved in the last decade so simple look up tables can't be used any more. [[ The only rain rule that should be used is one in which a watcher, using a set of downloadable tables, is able to work out the targets. Ananth: ]]

    The email address for Mr Jayadevan that appears in http://www.iisc.ernet.in/currsci/feb252004/515.pdf is not valid any more. Will you be able to find out the VJD targets for MCG and SCG games?

  • Sifter on February 20, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    I think changing the feel of an ODI will help. That's why I've enjoyed this Aussie summer of ODIs where 2 new balls has lead to some struggling batsmen early, turning it into a one-day Test match. I like the 12 over limit idea because that will allow captains to attack for longer with ball. To me there's nothing worse than watching a Dave Hussey/Paul COllingwood/Rohit Sharma type bowler coming on, obviously not trying to get anyone out, and just hoping that the batsmen will do something stupid. Unfortunately, that phase lasts for longer than it should, often for the full 20-35 over period. I feel a 5th bowler still has a place in T20s, but not in ODIs anymore.

    I can't see the point of changing the bouncer and wide rules though. Don't we want batsmen to be able to hit the ball? If I'm a bowler using your proposed leg side wide rules, I'd be coming round the wicket and aiming at leg stump, if I'm just too far down leg I can still argue that I was angling back at leg stump. [[ Would you pitch on the leg stump. Then that is fine. If you are even an inch off, you would be penalized. Ananth: ]]

  • Sifter on February 20, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    There are 2 main issues with ODIs: a) how to differentiate from T20s, and b) how to maintain interest across full 50 overs. Now I personally would prefer only ONE limited over format in world cricket to ease scheduling. I would do a 40 over game, maybe with the innings split down the middle to make both teams bat under lights. But that's just me... If ODIs want to survive long term, then I think they need different tactics and a different feel from T20, since on the face of it ODIs are going to become T20s ugly cousin. They're very similar tactically: I'm talking 5 bowlers, defensive fields in the middle so ODIs can be cynically known as 'T20 + 30 overs of boring stuff in the middle'. That's why I say differentiation is required. [[ What is suggested is both change to the game and the formats. So there would be a totally different feel to the ODI game. Ananth: ]]

  • milpand on February 20, 2012, 21:46 GMT

    Runs scored in different matches should not be used to resolve group standings. The number of balls saved, i.e. Ball Difference, is a simple method that uses the match conditions irrespective of winning side batting first or second.

    I described this during CWC11 at http://pandimi.wordpress.com/bd/ which includes a link to the Alternate Points Table for the group stage to compare Net Run Rate with Ball Difference. [[ Will publish this so that the readers can peruse the same. Will revert with my comments later. Ananth: ]]

  • milpand on February 20, 2012, 21:36 GMT

    With the no bowler limit rule a captain gets the choice to bring back a bowler at any stage which means the batting side can't see off a particular bowler. It adds a little more unpredictability.

  • milpand on February 20, 2012, 21:30 GMT

    WCL format is excellent and I hope it gets due recognition and eventually becomes a reality in due course.

  • parag on February 20, 2012, 19:17 GMT

    What if india gets knocked out in first round? Will there be any interest in remaining league? Remember WC 2007. What about tests in england and australian summer? [[ Do you want India to be seeded to the Final. If India gets knocked out, well, some of the Indians might tune off. May not be bad. Let us not get frivolous objections. By the by, Bangladesh deserved their place in the second round every bit in 2007. The WCL will be over in November. So what is the problem with Australian Tests. And there is gap in between two rounds for England Tests. Ananth: ]]

  • sk12 on February 20, 2012, 18:57 GMT

    The wide rule if implemented would be grossly exploited by the bowling team. Deliveries on off stump can be worked away to the leg, but doing the opposite is very difficult and risky. Captains will pack the leg side and ask the bowlers to bowl leg-stump and outside. [[ Your comment is very generic. No captain will be allowed to do that. For that matter no Test captain is allowed to do that. Try bowling down the leg side in PPs with Fine leg up. The bowler will go for plenty. Don't make it look like I have asked for a return of the 1980s. I am only saying that a ball pitched on the stumps should not be called a wide just because it went past the pads of the batsman. Ananth: ]]

    While your article makes decent sense, you need not have made fun of Sanjay Goyal's comment though. He said nothign wrong and most cricket lovers would endorse that. Oh just in case you missed it, he was being sarcastic with the 22 yards rule.

  • Kieron Azure on February 20, 2012, 18:57 GMT

    Switch-hits must be encouraged and not frowned upon. It can be used as an effective weapon to make the bowler's line chaotic. Of course, if a batsman switch hits and misses, there should be no leg-side wides or outside leg-stump lbws etc.

    But only for those balls alone. Other balls of the same batsman must be considered the same.

    I also agree with making the ball dead once the fielders has broken the stumps. It gives rise to stupid situations like: Last ball- 2 to win. Should fielder hit the stumps and go for a win (and risk overthrows and thus a loss) or just allow the single to settle for a tie?

    Also, away wins cannot be quantified easily. Ind winning in SL may not be as easy as Ind winning in SA. So can they be considered the same? [[ Let us look at this differently, say, a different set. Don't you think India vs SLK away should count more than India vs SLK home. Ananth: ]]

    Lastly, having a parallel ODI league alongside Test series would be tough to manage since teams would have frequent travels. Also, Aus and SA always play Boxing Test at home. The idea is excellent though- let's see if it's feasible. [[ Many thanks, Kieron, for taking each suggestion and putting in a valuable comment. Ananth: ]]

  • Kieron Azure on February 20, 2012, 18:45 GMT

    The bouncer rule is very much needed. Bowlers are so scared to use the short ball lest it turns out to be too high, wherein it's a no-ball and a waste. Two bouncers would allow some pressure buildup.

    The sub-rule for cricket is long overdue. I think Cricket is the only team sport that does not allow subs.

    Imagine being able to unleash Shane Bond/Malinga/Tait at a critical juncture in a Test, when the new ball is being taken. The sub rule would be a boon to such talented but "fragile" players and a treat to fans as well since Tests would then showcase their skills. Captains won't be saddled with just 3 main bowlers if one of them is injured (Case in point: Zaheer at Lords 2011) and bowlers would be happy to give their best since they can always take some rest and come back later.

    I think 3 times players from the bench can be brought to play (and replaced with original player). Of course in ODIs it could be just 1 or 2.

    Continued...

  • arch on February 20, 2012, 18:44 GMT

    I would go for upping the maximum overs to 11 overs. That will leave 5 overs hanging in the balance and most likely tip the representative bowling percentages to a par with batsmen. Also, two wicket hauls have to be equated to a 50, which is fair enough, and some three wicket hauls are better than centuries. A change in mental attitudes is needed in the awarding of MOM awards. As for the cricket league, keep the ODI world cup and have the league for 20/20 matches with no 2020 world cup. That will differentiate between the formats well enough. With regular weekend matches every month, or at least once a month, people will bin the IPL and other nonsense and follow a global, year round league. [[ I can see that a T20 league can be easily managed. But unfortunately that is directly in competion with IPL and BCCI will not let go of the cash cow. For that matter, not the other boardfs. Ananth: ]]

  • Kieron Azure on February 20, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    I can't comment much on the WCL. There are too many imponderables at present so I'll just say it's an idea worthy of reflection by the ICC.

    I agree on: 1. The bowler's over limit. 12 should be a basic minimum. Alternatively, we could reward a bowler with an extra over for every wicket he takes, upto 15 overs max. [[ 12 overs is a simple rule change and could be implemented with no problems. Ananth: ]]

    Some of the points I disagree on are: 1. Wide rule: As it is, the lbw rule is mincemeat, with the advent of the DRS and the original point of the lbw has been forgotten. The wide rule is the simplest of all at present and it must always be standard for all types of bowlers. Hence you cannot distinguish between a spinner pitching on middle and spinning away or a fast bowler angling away. No batsman can hit a ball safely if Tait/Malinga is angling a ball pitching on leg and moving away. All rules must be equal for all types of bowlers. [[ I am only saying that we should go by the reason why the wide rule is in place. Forget about any specific examples. Just look at whether the ball can be played in a comfortable manner. If so, let the ball go. If not, declare a wide. Ananth: ]]

    ...Continued in the next comment.

  • Johnny Rook on February 20, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    I think teams would prefer something like 8 batsmen out of which 3-4 will also have to be good fielders, 1 specialist keeper who may bat a bit, 2 all rounders and 5 specialist bowlers. So I don't think all-rounders would disappear. Scores may increase but not by much because of improved fielding and bowling. Wickets do matter in T20 and they would continue to matter a great deal in this format too.

  • Johnny Rook on February 20, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    I agree with most of your rule changes. A couple of points though 1) DRS should be compulsory but I think a little bit of solution oriented approach is needed. It is designed to eliminate howlers and most howlers can be eliminated by simple TV replays. Unfortunately DRS has become equivalent to Virtual Eye/Hot spot. They can also be used but only after a thorough independent testing. Till then good old TV replay is the best way forward 2) I dont agree with switch hit being legal. I think most people are considering only the case where the batsman is switching from his dominant to non dominant side, e.g. KP becoming a lefty instead of a righty. But what if he starts left handed and then switches to being righthanded. Field will have to be set accordingly and he will get an unfair advantage immaterial of where the bowler bowls. [[ Make the switch hit extremely batsman-unfriendly and automatically the casual use would go off. And in the likely event of someone doing it successfully let us take off our hats and enjoy the moment. Compare this with a batsman taking 3/4 steps to loft a spinner over long-on. If it comes off (as in 90-95% of cases) it is a sight to behold. And if it fails (in 10-5% of cases) the batsman looks foolish, walking back. I agree that the bowler skills come into the play. The point is why go out of the way and create a law, banning a single shot. Tell the guy that the risk is completely his. That is all needed. If you ban switch-hits then what about reverse sweep. Again unfair to the bowlers. Ananth: ]]

  • Johnny Rook on February 20, 2012, 16:52 GMT

    I have a weird suggestion. I am more than aware that it can't be implemented, right now anyways but who knows what may happen in 50 years. What do people want to see. I guess a great save to a great shot on a great ball would be the most ideal. So why not remove restriction of 11 players. Have a squad of 16 and like football, rotate as and when needed. So like now, only 10 wickets would be allowed but they may all be batsmen. Similarly only 11 players would be on field at a time but they don't need to be the same 11 as the ones in batting card. It would diminish the value of allrounders but will compensate by getting specialized fielders. I would love to hear people's thought on this. [[ Last year there were some discussions on this. Main problem would be that with 11 batsman (Iconcede 5 specialist bowlers) the scores would only keep on increasing. The multi-disciplinary skill development will disappear. Again let us not forget that there are different forms of cricket. Ananth: ]]

  • Arvind on February 20, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    Get rid of the powerplays.

  • Asad on February 20, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    The use of two new balls in ODI has nearly removed the element of reverse swing, that's not fair. Bowling team should be given some choice to either take two new balls or one.

    Regarding bouncers, I think, there should be unlimited bouncers available in any over. Bouncers limitation is really sick Idea, its like asking the batsman to only play certain shot, once in the over?

    Bowler should be free to bowl bouncers, anytime.

  • Pawan Mathur on February 20, 2012, 15:43 GMT

    Regarding my second comment, i fully endorse the increase in quota of overs. I even suggest that the captain should have a choice of 1) either one bowler bowling 12 overs or 2) Two bowlers bowling 11 over maximum each. This move will surely get to captains in ODI to get their thinking caps on.

    Regarding neutral values for India-Pak matches, will you endorse a proper ground with some cricket legacy or an India-Pak match to be played in weird venues like Toronto, Singapore. (I would put Sharjah in former category). [[ Why not in Sri Lanka or Australia or England. Ananth: ]]

  • Pawan Mathur on February 20, 2012, 15:37 GMT

    Dear Ananth, 1) In the past decade we have noticed that any innovative attempt by the ICC to make changes in ODI cricket more "interesting" have been major flops (remember the super sub rule). I think it is up to players (captains in particular) to introduce innovations ans make advantage of the existing rules to make ODI interesting. I would like to point out two examples of this, the first relatively well known tactics of Ranatunga asking Jayasuriya-Kalu to take advantage of the 15 over restrictions that changed the face of ODI cricket.The other instance I refer to is relatively forgotten. The match in question is the final of a tournament in 1996 at Padang (Singapore) between Pak and Lanka. After Jayasuriya had got out after scoring 50 of 18 balls, Aamir Sohail used the 15 overs field restriction to bring close in fielders for spinners setting test match like field and it paid as pak won.

  • Sanjay Goyal on February 20, 2012, 14:53 GMT

    Sorry but it is a whole lot of crap...Cricket is not very popular because it already has too many complicated rules. And here are suggestions to make it more complicated. Why not also add that if a bowler is 5 ft 8 inchs tall, he is allowed to bowl from 21.56 yards and if he is 6 ft 5 inches taller, he needs to bowl from 27.976548720 yards. Come on...we must simply the game. Your suggestions will make it interesting only to analysts who love statistics.

    Look at football, the game is simple that's why everyone loves it. [[ Why do I publish this "comment". We also need to laugh once in a while. Ananth: ]]

  • SM on February 20, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    One would have thought that the developers of the technology would have been going all out to put pressure on the BCCI through dissemination of statistics like "if there is x metres of ball trajectory after pitching available for prediction, the final position of the ball would fall within the predicted position x% of times" with the numbers varying depending on location of pitch, weather condition, level of deterioration etc. The fact that all arguments for and against the DRS are based on qualitative judgements or vague statistical statements like improving accuracy from 95% to 97%, makes one wonder whether the data does actually support DRS' accuracy claims. Would be great to hear your thoughts on these. [[ I think you probably missed Dave Richardson's interview on DRS. These numbers are available now, maybe not to the public. I like the DRS, but not enough to claim that it is the next greatest thing after xyz. I only say there should be a level playing field. Ananth: ]]

  • SM on February 20, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    b) DRS - Though I fully appreciate your rationale on how it confers an undue advantage on India because they play under no DRS all the time. Sure, the ICC should ideally lay down the rules for all the teams, but as a remote viewer I have concerns regarding the accuracy of DRS especially for LBWs. The reason for this is the absolute lack of the use of any kind of meaningful statistics in any discussion regarding DRS and LBWs. I would have thought that it would be reasonably simple to obtain statistics on how accurate the DRS is in predicting ball trajectory based on both tests done by the technology manufacturers as well as independent tests by ICC or BCCI. (contd.) [[ I think only a fool would claim 100% accuracy. The only point of contention is not how accurate the system is but "Does one country have the authority to say No". Tomorrow what happens if Sri Lanka says that they oppose the two new balls change and would only play with one new ball in all their games. Of course after somehow obtaining the clout. Ananth: ]]

  • SM on February 20, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    Quite interesting points and with many having the potential to make the game really fun to watch. Though not really sure about some of the ideas a) DL system - I do not agree with your criticism on the basis that the target for India at MCG was too low. Sure, India had the advantage of knowing that it had to deploy its 10 wickets only over a period 32 overs, but Aus too had the advantage of deploying its 8 wickets only over 21 overs instead of 39. I have no doubt that you are fully aware of the rationale behind DW wherein overs and wickets are viewed as set of dependent resources and adjustments are made based on the relative reduction in total resource pool for both teams. I attempted a simple calculation assuming resources represented by overs multiplied by wickets and my result was that the India should have only chased 196. Now I understand that my methodology for calculation of resources is quite simplistic and that is why DW seeks to do it based on actual historical data.

  • David on February 20, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    My comments on D/L (already posted elsewhere): the biggest problem with it, even if the tables can be mathematically justified, is that it is sometimes totally non-intuitive (MCG being the prime example). I think players and spectators alike will be happier with a system that feels right rather than one that is mathematically right, but intuitively strange.

    My suggestion: every international match already has 4 independent umpires on hand, who all have significant experience in and feel for the game. Let's use them! They could perhaps be given the D/L tables as a starting point, but then each nominates what they think is a fair target score. This is done anonymously using an electronic ballot box, and the final target is the average of those 4 opinions.

    Technology is great for DRS, because most of the time the proof is overt. But the D/L "technology" operates in impenetrable mystery; we therefore need to restore the human touch to this aspect of ODIs. [[ Excellent point and very well made. Intuitively a 32 over target HAS TO BE HIGHER than a 20 overs-break-32 overs score. Anything else is illogical. What I feared at MCG happened at SCG. Sri Lanka was given a LOWER target score than Australia scored. It does not matter a whit that Sri Lanka won by five-and-half miles, it does not matter a whit that Australia had batted poorly and had lost 6 wkts when rain came in. Incidentally I remembered you when I put in that bit about declaring a winner based on losing a few wickets. I remember your comments on the super-over and your genuine appreciation of the tie. In fact, my son, who is the unofficial editor, also feels that way and argued for leaving the tie as it is. I bowed to this sagacity I moved the tie-resolution to the second list and that too only for WCL. Ananth: ]]

  • Umar on February 20, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    I would really like to say that number of overs per match should be reduced to 80, that is, 40-over-a-side matches, that should most likely increase the audience for the games. This should be the number 1 change. [[ Just changing 50 to 40 does not mean much. 50 overs will give time for building an innings. Splitting each innings into two parts is a more significant change. Ananth: ]]

  • Gizza on February 20, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    You have forgotten about the few recent changes to the ODI format which have helped it swing back in the bowlers' favour. 1. Two new balls instead of one is huge (twice as many overs to swing the ball). and 2. No runners allowed for batsmen. [[ Why do you assume I have forgotten. It so happens that the current lot of matches are played in batsmen-neutral conditions such as UAE/Australia. Imagine matches in India or Pakistan. the bowlers will need all help they could get, and some. Ananth: ]]

    The 2 bouncer rule made me think. I believe a "bowling PowerPlay" should be a PowerPlay that helps the bowlers and not the batsmen. Maybe allow 3 bouncers per over in the Bowling PowerPlay? Also perhaps allow for more wide leniency? A batting PowerPlay can have rules benefitting the batting side. [[ Worth looking at tweaking the PPs. Ananth: ]]

  • Hassan Kiani on February 20, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    The 12 over rule means the death of all-rounders.....adn WCL is too complicated..........its interest of viewers and fans which make sport so good its not because of the rules and regulations........... [[ Everything need not be understood by all on day 1. Even now Reverse swing is not understood by many, Doosra or Theesra concepts are understood by very few and D/L by 17 people around the world. So let go. If and when this comes through, you will understand the ideas in no time at all. Alternately read the article couple of times more. Ananth: ]]

  • Gerry_the_Merry on February 20, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    I would like to add: 1) make bowler friendly pitches so that real batsmen flourish which will help discover talent for tests also 2) remove unnecessary rules like free-hit 3) dont bring in the ropes and dont make the outfield so fast 4) limit big games to big centers and not Rajkot/Jodhpur type of places 5) have tiering of teams with perhaps a points allocation depending on whether #1 plays #2 or #2 plays #7 etc. with points mattering to the world cup, such that only top 6 teams are chosen [[ 1. Too general a change. 2. I had got it in and then removed it. Fielder safety will always be a reason for pulling ropes in. 3. I also do not like free-hit. But at least it has cut wides down a lot. I like the 2 runs per no ball since no time is lost. 4. Try telling this to BCCI. But makes sense. Anyway it is a local problem. 5. Can be part of any tournment. Ananth: ]]

  • Mihir Ravani on February 20, 2012, 10:44 GMT

    Brilliant work! Al though lots of scheduling and logistics need to be taken care of for the WCL to happen, it is still a great idea. And almost all the suggestions given before that with respect to ODI's, Tests and DRS must be implemented as soon as possible because most of the fallacies are glaring and obvious. They need to be rectified. It is such a pity that cricket boards are run by money minded business men where love for cricket is secondary. It is high time intelligent and logical decisions like these are made and implemented, giving the true cricket lover what he wants to see. [[ One reason ehy, I have slotted in the first WCL for 2014 and not 2013. Ananth: ]]

  • noor chishty on February 20, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    this is an excellent idea but i am sorry to say that teams like india and pakistan could not play each other because of the political issues sports should remain a sport and the rivalry is good in the ground but as soon as the game is over things should go to normal, celebrate the victory but the sport should remain sport only. furthermore the ctricketing calendar should be made in such a way that every team should play equal no of matches and associates should be helped to improve their cricket and so the game of cricket prospers and it become global instaed of remaining in the cnfines of very few nations. [[ You will see in my previous article that I have called for the resumption of cricketing ties between India and Pakista, to start with in a neutral location. Ananth: ]]

  • Dinesh on February 20, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    Ananth, I have my doubts over the wide rule.U said that ball pitched outside leg stump should be called a wide but what about those balls pitched on middle stump and leg stump and angling down leg by a fast bowler or spinner.Ur suggestion for spinners is fine.But given the cannyness of bowlers around the world they can use it to there advantage and bowl balls angling down leg which kind of takes away the fun. [[ What is the purpose of a wide. If a delivery is bowled which cannot be played by a batsman, it should be called a wide. Let me ask you. A medium fast bowler bowls a sharp off-cutter on the leg stump. Now there is a good chance it will be called a wide. Similar to a sharply turning off-break pitched on middle and leg. Why, cannot the batsman play the deliveries. Ananth: ]]

  • Moiz Mehmood on February 20, 2012, 10:23 GMT

    The more complicated we make this game, the less interesting it becomes. Remove all unnecessary rules that were invented to favor the batsmen and make it more like test cricket so it becomes real battle between bat and ball. If I want to view fours and sixes then I would go and watch Twenty20. The one day format would need to be more like test cricket if it is to survive the onslaught of Twenty20.

  • AB on February 20, 2012, 10:05 GMT

    Is the WCL to go on top of the world cup and all the other cricket? Good Lord, what a crazy idea. Why base an international competition on a club competition like the Uefa Champions League? That just doesn't make any sense. If you want to copy anything, copy the football world cup - make every team except the hosts qualify, even the seeded countries. A 2 year qualification process leading up to the world cup would be exciting and offer real context to bilateral ODI series, as well as giving associate and affiliate countries plenty of exposure at playing the big boys. [[ In the WCL years, there would be below 100 matches, 50 below current levels. Every match will be relevant. The leaner and better bi-lateral series can still continue during the other years. The WC, once in 4 years, will still retain its primacy. The meaningless Champions' Trophy will disappear. Not enough. Ananth: ]]

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • AB on February 20, 2012, 10:05 GMT

    Is the WCL to go on top of the world cup and all the other cricket? Good Lord, what a crazy idea. Why base an international competition on a club competition like the Uefa Champions League? That just doesn't make any sense. If you want to copy anything, copy the football world cup - make every team except the hosts qualify, even the seeded countries. A 2 year qualification process leading up to the world cup would be exciting and offer real context to bilateral ODI series, as well as giving associate and affiliate countries plenty of exposure at playing the big boys. [[ In the WCL years, there would be below 100 matches, 50 below current levels. Every match will be relevant. The leaner and better bi-lateral series can still continue during the other years. The WC, once in 4 years, will still retain its primacy. The meaningless Champions' Trophy will disappear. Not enough. Ananth: ]]

  • Moiz Mehmood on February 20, 2012, 10:23 GMT

    The more complicated we make this game, the less interesting it becomes. Remove all unnecessary rules that were invented to favor the batsmen and make it more like test cricket so it becomes real battle between bat and ball. If I want to view fours and sixes then I would go and watch Twenty20. The one day format would need to be more like test cricket if it is to survive the onslaught of Twenty20.

  • Dinesh on February 20, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    Ananth, I have my doubts over the wide rule.U said that ball pitched outside leg stump should be called a wide but what about those balls pitched on middle stump and leg stump and angling down leg by a fast bowler or spinner.Ur suggestion for spinners is fine.But given the cannyness of bowlers around the world they can use it to there advantage and bowl balls angling down leg which kind of takes away the fun. [[ What is the purpose of a wide. If a delivery is bowled which cannot be played by a batsman, it should be called a wide. Let me ask you. A medium fast bowler bowls a sharp off-cutter on the leg stump. Now there is a good chance it will be called a wide. Similar to a sharply turning off-break pitched on middle and leg. Why, cannot the batsman play the deliveries. Ananth: ]]

  • noor chishty on February 20, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    this is an excellent idea but i am sorry to say that teams like india and pakistan could not play each other because of the political issues sports should remain a sport and the rivalry is good in the ground but as soon as the game is over things should go to normal, celebrate the victory but the sport should remain sport only. furthermore the ctricketing calendar should be made in such a way that every team should play equal no of matches and associates should be helped to improve their cricket and so the game of cricket prospers and it become global instaed of remaining in the cnfines of very few nations. [[ You will see in my previous article that I have called for the resumption of cricketing ties between India and Pakista, to start with in a neutral location. Ananth: ]]

  • Mihir Ravani on February 20, 2012, 10:44 GMT

    Brilliant work! Al though lots of scheduling and logistics need to be taken care of for the WCL to happen, it is still a great idea. And almost all the suggestions given before that with respect to ODI's, Tests and DRS must be implemented as soon as possible because most of the fallacies are glaring and obvious. They need to be rectified. It is such a pity that cricket boards are run by money minded business men where love for cricket is secondary. It is high time intelligent and logical decisions like these are made and implemented, giving the true cricket lover what he wants to see. [[ One reason ehy, I have slotted in the first WCL for 2014 and not 2013. Ananth: ]]

  • Gerry_the_Merry on February 20, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    I would like to add: 1) make bowler friendly pitches so that real batsmen flourish which will help discover talent for tests also 2) remove unnecessary rules like free-hit 3) dont bring in the ropes and dont make the outfield so fast 4) limit big games to big centers and not Rajkot/Jodhpur type of places 5) have tiering of teams with perhaps a points allocation depending on whether #1 plays #2 or #2 plays #7 etc. with points mattering to the world cup, such that only top 6 teams are chosen [[ 1. Too general a change. 2. I had got it in and then removed it. Fielder safety will always be a reason for pulling ropes in. 3. I also do not like free-hit. But at least it has cut wides down a lot. I like the 2 runs per no ball since no time is lost. 4. Try telling this to BCCI. But makes sense. Anyway it is a local problem. 5. Can be part of any tournment. Ananth: ]]

  • Hassan Kiani on February 20, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    The 12 over rule means the death of all-rounders.....adn WCL is too complicated..........its interest of viewers and fans which make sport so good its not because of the rules and regulations........... [[ Everything need not be understood by all on day 1. Even now Reverse swing is not understood by many, Doosra or Theesra concepts are understood by very few and D/L by 17 people around the world. So let go. If and when this comes through, you will understand the ideas in no time at all. Alternately read the article couple of times more. Ananth: ]]

  • Gizza on February 20, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    You have forgotten about the few recent changes to the ODI format which have helped it swing back in the bowlers' favour. 1. Two new balls instead of one is huge (twice as many overs to swing the ball). and 2. No runners allowed for batsmen. [[ Why do you assume I have forgotten. It so happens that the current lot of matches are played in batsmen-neutral conditions such as UAE/Australia. Imagine matches in India or Pakistan. the bowlers will need all help they could get, and some. Ananth: ]]

    The 2 bouncer rule made me think. I believe a "bowling PowerPlay" should be a PowerPlay that helps the bowlers and not the batsmen. Maybe allow 3 bouncers per over in the Bowling PowerPlay? Also perhaps allow for more wide leniency? A batting PowerPlay can have rules benefitting the batting side. [[ Worth looking at tweaking the PPs. Ananth: ]]

  • Umar on February 20, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    I would really like to say that number of overs per match should be reduced to 80, that is, 40-over-a-side matches, that should most likely increase the audience for the games. This should be the number 1 change. [[ Just changing 50 to 40 does not mean much. 50 overs will give time for building an innings. Splitting each innings into two parts is a more significant change. Ananth: ]]

  • David on February 20, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    My comments on D/L (already posted elsewhere): the biggest problem with it, even if the tables can be mathematically justified, is that it is sometimes totally non-intuitive (MCG being the prime example). I think players and spectators alike will be happier with a system that feels right rather than one that is mathematically right, but intuitively strange.

    My suggestion: every international match already has 4 independent umpires on hand, who all have significant experience in and feel for the game. Let's use them! They could perhaps be given the D/L tables as a starting point, but then each nominates what they think is a fair target score. This is done anonymously using an electronic ballot box, and the final target is the average of those 4 opinions.

    Technology is great for DRS, because most of the time the proof is overt. But the D/L "technology" operates in impenetrable mystery; we therefore need to restore the human touch to this aspect of ODIs. [[ Excellent point and very well made. Intuitively a 32 over target HAS TO BE HIGHER than a 20 overs-break-32 overs score. Anything else is illogical. What I feared at MCG happened at SCG. Sri Lanka was given a LOWER target score than Australia scored. It does not matter a whit that Sri Lanka won by five-and-half miles, it does not matter a whit that Australia had batted poorly and had lost 6 wkts when rain came in. Incidentally I remembered you when I put in that bit about declaring a winner based on losing a few wickets. I remember your comments on the super-over and your genuine appreciation of the tie. In fact, my son, who is the unofficial editor, also feels that way and argued for leaving the tie as it is. I bowed to this sagacity I moved the tie-resolution to the second list and that too only for WCL. Ananth: ]]